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8T SERIES, NO. 64 

SEPTEMBER 1, 1922 












Issued semi-monthly thronghout the year. Kntered at the post office at Iowa City, Iowa as 

second class matter. Acceptance for mailing at special rate of postage provided for 

in Section 1103, Act of October 3, 1917, authorized on July 3, 1918. 


A. M. ScHLESiNGER, Editor 
C. M". Case, Advisory Editor J. Van der Zee, Advisory Editor 


lPanish-american diplomacy 





Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 





Editor's Introduction 5 

Author's Preface 7 

I. Early Relations Between the United States and 

Denmark, 1776-1800 9 

II. Problems op the Napoleonic Era, 1800-1815 - - 29 

III. The Negotiation of Treaties and the Settlement 

OF Claims, 1815-1847 47 

IV. The Abolition of Sound Dues and Other Problems, 

1841-1860 66 

V. Danish-American Relations Resui^ting From the 

Civil War, 1860-1872 93 

VI. Miscellaneous Problems op the Latter Part of 

the Nineteenth Century, 1868-1900 - - - - 110 

VII. Recent Relations Between the United States aistd 

Denmark, 1900-1920 140 

Appendices 152 

Bibliography 159 

Index 166 


Dr. Fogdall sets forth in this volume the relations of the 
United States with one of the smaller countries of northern 
Europe. His account makes it amply evident that these re- 
lations have, at times, been of more than ordinary impor- 
tance. To Americans of to-day it is a matter of peculiar 
interest that the waterway connecting the Baltic Sea with 
the Atlantic Ocean was converted into a free international 
highway largely upon the initiative of the United States. 
It is also a matter of gratitude that during the Civil "War, 
when certain more powerful nations were unfriendly to the 
United States government, Denmark was found in the ranks 
of our friends. Finally, the transfer of the Virgin Islands 
to the United States in our generation is an earnest of the 
future harmonious relations between the two nations. 

Arthur M. Schlesinger. 


This work was originally intended to cover the diplomatic 
relations between the United States and Denmark from the 
Revolutionary War to the end of the nineteenth century. 
Because of the recent purchase of the Danish West Indies, 
a short chapter has been added in which a brief survey has 
been made of the leading events that have taken place 
during the last twenty years. An attempt has been made 
to arrange the chapters of this volume in chronological 
order, but it has been found necessary at times to allow 
them to overlap. 

In preparing this volume the author wished to use the 
files of the Department of State at Washington, D. C, but 
was unable to gain access to them. Having asked for 
permission the following reply was received: "The Depart- 
ments regrets to say that it has discouraged application to 
do research work of this character as it has not the facilities 
or space to properly supervise and examine the work, and 
that therefore it is reluctantly compelled to decline your 
request at this time." It has thus been necessary to rely on 
the material found in the various libraries and archives 
mentioned below. 

In the city of Des Moines, Iowa, the author has worked 
in the Des Moines University Library, the Iowa State Law 
Library, and the Library of the Historical Department of 
Iowa. Most of the material in foreign languages has been 
obtained in the Library of Congress at Washington, D, C. 
The libraries of the University of Iowa and of the State 
Historical Society of Iowa, both located at Iowa City, have 
been of much value in verifying references. 

During the summer of 1921 it was the author's privilege 
to spend four months in Europe, Some of this time was 
spent in Copenhagen where access was obtained to the 
Royal Library, the Archives of Foreign Affairs, and the 
Archives of the Kingdom (Rigsarkivet) . Some of the material 


in these archives is not yet released for general use, but 
three large packages of original dispatches were examined. 
These covered the period from 1783 to 1850. It must be said, 
however, that the material so far released by the Danish 
government is practically the same as that which is already 
published by the government of the United States. 

The author is indebted to Mr. Herbert Putnam, Librarian 
of Congress, and his assistants for the personal interest shown 
and the valuable privileges extended to him while in Wash- 
ington during the winter 1920-21. Thanks are also due to 
Kristian Erslev and his assistants at Copenhagen. Similar 
appreciation is extended to Mr. Arthur J. Small and Miss 
Mary Rosemond for valuable assistance in the Iowa State 
Law Library. Special thanks are due to Dr. Benjamin F. 
Shambaugh and Dr. Ruth A. Gallaher for privileges en- 
joyed in the library of the State Historical Society of Iowa. 

The author wishes to express his sincere appreciation to 
Professor Gilbert G. Benjamin, under whose guidance this 
work has been done, and to Professor A. M, Schlesinger, editor 
of the Studies in the Social Sciences. Their suggestions and 
criticisms have been very valuable. 



1. The Attitude of Denmark toward the American Revo-, 

One of the early problems that confronted the American 
patriots in connection with the Revolution was that of es- 
tablishing commercial and political relations with foreign 
nations. This was necessary in order to fight England suc- 
cessfully and also to establish the credit of the infant 
state. Consequently Silas Deane, a business man from Con- 
necticut and a delegate from that state to the First and 
Second Continental Congresses, was sent to France in Febru- 
ary, 1776, as government agent, to borrow money and se- 
cure supplies. It is in a letter from him to the Committee 
of Secret Correspondence, dated at Paris, August 18, 1776, 
that Denmark is mentioned for the first time in connection 
with our international relations. Explaining the political 
situation in Europe, Silas Deane showed that Spain, France, 
and Prussia were likely to go to war against England, and 
he added: "With respect to Russia, it is as closely allied 
to Prussia as to Great Britain, and may be expected to be 
master in the contest. Denmark and Sweden are a balance 
for each other and opposites."^ 

It will be remembered that ever since the days of Charles 
XII, Sweden had been hostile to Russia. Denmark on the 
other hand had generally been friendly to Russia. Silas 
Deane without doubt intended to convey the idea to Amer- 
ica that Denmark standing with Russia against Great Britain 
would be a friend of the new nation. 

That Denmark was considered as a nation that would 
at least not aid Great Britain in the struggle against her 

1 Francis Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Bevolu- 
tion, Vol. II, p. 119. 


colonies was also brought out in. 1777 when Arthur Lee, 
one of our commissioners to France, wrote to the Committee 
on Foreign Affairs: "As to the reenforcement of troops 
which Great Britain will receive from other powers of 
Europe for the approaching campaign I can assure you, 
sir. that your nation has nothing to fear from Russia or 
Denmark." This he again affirmed in the year 1778.^ The 
previous year Franklin and Deane had written to the Com- 
mittee of Secret Correspondence urging that the American 
government try to get a free port or two in Denmark, for 
the sale of prizes as well as for commerce.^ 

That the Danish people were in sympathy with the Amer- 
ican Revolution cannot be doubted. We shall see later, 
however, that the man who was at the head of foreign 
affairs in Denmark was decidedly hostile to the Revolution 
and the independence of the colonies. This was so in spite 
of [the fact that he knew the people of the country were 
opposed to his views. His correspondence shows both his 
own stand on the subject as well as that of the people.* The 
fact that Denmark took a leading part in the formation of 
the League of Armed Neutrality is additional proof of the 
same fact, since that organization was created as the re- 
sult of hostility to Great Britain.'^ 

In the hope of negotiating a treaty of commerce, Stephen 
Sayre visited Copenhagen. In regard to this visit the 
foreign minister of Denmark, Andreas Peter Bernstorff, 
wrote to his friend Ditlev Reventlow December 30, 1777: 
"We have here an agent of the American colonies, the 
famous Sayre, who has come from Berlin. He proposes a 

2 Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 429, 612. 

8 Ibid., Vol. II, p. 288. 

* Bernstorff to Reventlow, October 26, 1776. "Le public d'ici eat ex- 

tremement port^ pour lea rebelles (de I'Am^rique), non par connoisance 

de cause, mais parce que le manie de 1 'ind^pendance a r^ellement infects 

tous les esprits, et que ce poison se r6pand imperceptiblement des ouvragea 

des philosophes jusques dans les ^coles des villages." Aage Friis, 

BernstorffaTce Fapirer, Vol. II, p. 498. 

8 J. B. Scott, The Armed Neutrality of 1780 and 1800 is one of the best 

accounts of this alliance in English. 


plan of commerce with America, very broad and very ad- 
vantageous. With precaution I have not seen him, but I 
am sufficiently instructed concerning his proposal, and I see 
very clearly that the inhabitants of the colonies continue 
to hate the French at the bottom of their heart and that 
their relations with them are based on necessity and are 
rendered indispensible. ' '^ 

"What Bernstorff's answer was to Sayre's proposal we 
are unable to say, but we may infer that in his own 
peculiar, crafty way he informed the American agent that 
Denmark wanted to make a treaty and would continue 
negotiations. At any rate, Sayre apparently was not 
offended.'' He evidently got the impression that Denmark 
was not unfavorably inclined toward the colonists. Later 
John Adams wrote to Congress that Denmark was aiming 
to defend herself at sea against Great Britain.^ It would 
thus seem that Denmark was a friend of the new nation 
or that at any rate she was a friendly neutral. 

2. The Bergen Prizes. 

The event that tested Denmark's stand in regard to the 
independence of the American colonies came in the fall of 
1779 and is known as the case of the Bergen prizes. The 
famous Scotchman John Paul Jones was plying the Eur- 
opean waters with an American squadron, bent on harass- 
ing British commerce. One of his frigates, the Alliance, was 
commanded by Captain Peter Landais, a Frenchman who had 
made himself famous in America by transporting war supplies 
to the colonies under very dangerous circumstances. While 
stationed in the North Sea Captain Landais captured three 
English merchantmen, the Betsy, the Union, and the Charming 
Polly. Soon after, he met with bad weather, which caused 
considerable damage to his prizes. He therefore sought refuge 
and aid in what he supposed to be the friendly port of Bergen, 

6 Aage Friis, BernstorffsTce Papvrer, "Vol. Ill, pp. 12-13. 

7 Stephen Sayre was an adventurer who went to Europe and attempted 
to force his service on the United States. Later he made a claim on 
Congress for money. His work was investigated and his claim refused. 
Wharton, op. cit. Vol. I, pp. 618-619; Vol. Ill, p. 107. 

8 Wharton, op. oit.. Vol. Ill, p. 505. 


Norway, a part of the Danish domain. The British consul 
in that port, learning of the presence of the prizes, reported 
it to the British minister at Copenhagen who insisted that 
Denmark should restore the vessels to the owners. The 
Danish foreign office complied with his demand and ordered 
them to be delivered to the British government on the ground 
that Denmark had not yet acknowledged the independence of 
the United States. The American seamen were left to shift 
for themselves without any means of subsistence. 

M. de Chezaulx, the French consul at Bergen, made a 
report of the affair to Benjamin Franklin, who on December 
22, 1779, wrote a long letter to Andreas Peter Bernstorff, 
Danish Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In this 
letter Franklin showed that the law of nations recognized 
every people as a friendly nation unless it had committed 
a hostile act. As the United States had never committed 
a hostile act toward Denmark, she could by the rights of 
humanity claim that Denmark should treat her as a friend. 
In ancient times among barbarous nations, none was recog- 
nized as a friend except by treaty, but it would not be 
well for Denmark to revive that rule. He therefore re- 
quested that, if the three prizes had not left Bergen, they 
should be given back to the lawful captors. If on the other 
hand the vessels had left, it became his duty to claim the value 
of the prizes, which, as he understood, was about fifty thou- 
sand pounds. The amount, however, might be settled ac- 
cording to the best information obtainable.' 

This affair excited much attention among our diplomats 
abroad. John Adams who was at Paris in the spriag of 
1780 proposed to John Jay that l£ Denmark should be un- 
willing to make restitution, we ought not to allow her pro- 
ducts to be consumed in America.^" Congress passed a res- 
olution approving the conduct of Franklin and pledged its 

• For full text of the letter see Wharton, op. oit., Vol. Ill, pp. 433-435; 
Jared Sparks, Diplomatic Correspondence of the American BevoUttion, 
Vol. Ill, pp. 121-124. As the works of Wharton and Sparks largely 
contain the same material, no subsequent references will be made to 
Sparks unless the material is found there only. 
10 Wharton, op. cit., Vol. Ill, pp. 678-679. 


support in asserting our rights as an independent and sov- 
ereign nation,^^ As Denmark had not answered yet, Frank- 
lin confidently hoped that she would make amends for her 
action, and he so informed Jones under whom Landais had 

In the late spring of 1780 Count Bernstorff replied, that, 
had it not been for the fact that Franklin was such a 
sage, he would have believed that he was simply trying to 
place Denmark under a new embarrassment. Since, however, 
Franklin's integrity was universally recognized, he would 
divest himself of his public character and answer his 
letter, thereby proving that he was a friend of merit, truth 
and peace. Turning to the question of the prizes, he wished 
to state that the whole unfortunate affair had from the be- 
ginning caused him much pain. There was, however, situa- 
tions where it was impossible to avoid displeasing either one 
party or the other. He appealed to Franklin's magnanimity 
asking him to consider the dilemma in which the Danish 
government was placed. The Danish representative in France, 
Baron de Blome, would be instructed in regard to the matter 
and it was hoped that the affair might be settled to the sat- 
isfaction of all concemed.^^ 

It is clear from this letter that Bernstorff wanted Franklin 
to believe that it had been a disagreeable duty for him to de- 
liver the prizes to England, but that he had done so to 
avoid unpleasantness with his next door neighbor. For the 
present we do not care to deal with the question of inter- 
national law pertaining to the case, but it is desirable to 
set forth the motives for Bernstorff 's action. 

One of the memorable periods in Danish history is that 
which is known as the "Era of Struensee." In November 
1766, King Christian VII of Denmark had married the six- 
teen year old princess, Caroline Mathilde, sister of George 
III of England. The King was mentally weak and inclined 

11 Secret Journals of Congress, Vol. II, p. 313. 

12 Wliarton, op. oit., Vol. Ill, p. 528. 

13 Wharton, op. cit., Vol. Ill, p. 528. The letter was signed R. Bern- 
storff. We know of no reason for this as his initials were A. P. 


to immorality, drunkenness and brutality. He soon found 
the marriage tie to be an inconvenience, and to the chagrin 
of the young queen indulged in a ridiculous love affair with 
a woman of the street, known popularly as "Boot Kathrine," 
who became his special and much favored companion at social 
functions of the court. In her misery the queen formed an 
intimate friendship with Fru Plessen, a woman of parts who 
was opposed to the levity of the court. This displeased the 
king and his friends, who styled Fru Plessen the queen's 
"flea catcher" and had her dismissed from court. In 1768 
the king made an extended trip through Europe. When he 
returned in 1769 two things were noticeable : first, his mind 
was rapidly failing; and second, he had fallen entirely under 
the influence of his private physician, Johan Frederik 
Struensee. Morally this man was of the king's type, but 
intellectually he was his master. With marvelous rapidity he 
advanced from one position to another until in 1770 he had 
concentrated all governmental powers in the hands of the 
king and made himself "Maitre des requetes." In view of 
the mental condition of the king this meant that Struensee 
was de facto king in Denmark. With wonderful skill he now 
inaugurated a reform movement which compares favorably 
with the work of the most enlightened of the absolute mon- 
archs. His activities created a large number of enemies 
among the conservatives, who sought diligently for an op- 
portunity to ruin him. He then committed the inexcusable 
blunder of becoming too familiar with the queen, who wel- 
comed his attentions as a variation from the monotony of her 
dreary life. 

This situation afforded his enemies their opportunity. A 
coup d'etat was carried out in the early morning of January 
17, 1772. Struensee and his close friend, Enevold Brandt, 
were arrested, as was also Caroline Mathilde, who was taken 
to the famous castle Kronborg at Elsinore as a prisoner. Th** 
two men were condemned to death and executed with barbaric 
cruelty, while a court of thirty-five judges declared the king 
and queen divorced. It was the intention to immure her in 
the castle Aalborghus; but through Sir Robert M. Keith, the 
British minister to Denmark, George III, backed by public 


opinion in England, secured her release. The queen, however, 
was (forced to leave her two little children in the hands of 
strangers. She was taken to Celle in Hanover where she 
died brokenhearted at the age of twenty-two.^* A conspiracy 
was soon formed by a number of Danish malcontents, who 
had been exiled as a result of the coup d'etat of January 17, 
1772. This was backed by Sir N. W. Wraxall, an English 
nobleman. In spite of the fact that George III denied it, 
rumor would have it that the British monarch was back of 
it all. The evident object was the overthrow of the Danish 
government and vengeance for the treatment of Struensee 
and Caroline Mathilde.^^ At any rate those in power in 
Denmark felt very uneasy. This was accentuated by the 
fact that George III became so angry, as a result of the 
unjust treatment of his sister, that he broke off all diplomatic 
relations, as soon as the queen left Denmark. 

When Prance became a partner with the colonies in the 
war against Great Britain, England's need for friends 
changed the attitude of her king and government toward 
Denmark somewhat, and an envoy was again sent to Copen- 
hagen in 1778.^° With this as a background we believe the 
Danish historian, Edvard Holm, is correct when he says of 
Bernstorff: "Without doubt it was pleasant for him under 
those conditions to have the opportunity to put himself on 
the side of England. Some English trading vessels were 
captured in the fall of 1779 by an American privateer near 
the Norwegian coast and taken into Bergen. As Denmark 
had not yet recognized American belligerency, Bernstorff 

14 For a complete account of the Era of Struensee and Caroline Mathilda, 
"the Queen of Tears," see John Steenstrup, et al., Danmarlcs Eiges 
Eistorie, Vol. V, pp. 281-380; "Caroline Mathilde, Queen of Denmark," 
Blackvwod's Magazine, Vol. IX, pp. 142-147; "Danish Revolution under 
Struensee," Edinburgh Eeview (1826), Vol. XLIV, pp. 360-383; "Count 
Struensee and Queen Caroline Mathilde," Westminster Eeview, (1882), 
Vol. CXVIII, pp. 336-361; P. Uldall, Efterladte Optegnelser, passim. 

15 Lascelles Wraxall, "The Hapless Queen of Denmark," Eclectic Maga- 
evn, (1864), Vol. LXin, pp. 296-297. The author was the grandson of 
N. W. Wraxall and claimed he had access to his grandfather's papers. 

16 Edward Holm, "Danmarks Neutralitetsforhandlinger 1778-1780," His- 
torisTc Tidsskrift, 3dje Rsekke, Vol. V, pp. 4-8. 


forced the privateer to give up the prizes."" The political 
situation, supplies us with one of the deeper reasons for the 
action of the Danish foreign minister. 

A second motive for Bernstorff's action in regard to the 
Bergen prizes was his unrelenting hatred of Sweden. Holm 
caUs him ' * an untiring and irreconcilable enemy of Sweden. ' '" 
For nearly three hundred years the two countries had been 
enemies. Recently a secret treaty had been agreed upon 
between Prance and Sweden, by which France was to pay 
to Sweden one and one-half million livres a year for six 
years beginning January 1, 1779. Although this was sup- 
posed to be secret, Bemstorff had gotten wind of its existence.^' 
He knew that it was the custom of the great powers to play 
off iSweden and Denmark against each other in case of a 
European conflict. He was therefore hostile to the Franco- 
Swedish-American combine. Consequently he was unwilling 
in any way to offend England. 

But probably after all the most potent reason why Bem- 
storff was pro-English was a personal one. He was against 
revolution and the liberal tendencies of his times. He had 
been one of the powerful opponents of the reforms of 
Struensee. He complained that the Danish people were in 
favor of the American rebels because they had been poisoned 
in the village schools by the philosophy of the day.^" He 
also believed that the independence of the colonies would be 
a positive menace to Denmark. He feared that it would 
endanger the safety of the Danish possessions, cause a de- 
crease in the Baltic commerce, which on account of the Sound 
Dues was a source of revenue to Denmark, create a nation 
which would become a commercial rival, make France too 
strong, and interfere with Danish trade in general.^^ 

17 Edvard Holm, Danmark-Norges Historie, 1766-1808, pp. 310. 

i« Edvard Holm, "Danmarka Neutralitetaforhandlinger 1778-1780," Eia- 
torisJc Tidsakrift, 3dje Rsekke Vol. V, p. 78. 

18 Bemt von Schinkel, Minnen ur Sveriges Nyare Historia, Vol. I, p. 283; 
Edvard Holm, Danmark-Norges Historie, 1766-1808, pp. 294-296. I have 
been unable in any of the great collections of treaties to find the text 
of this document. It is supposed to have been signed in December, 1778. 

20 Aage Friis, Bemstorffske Tapvrer, Vol. Ill, p. 498. 

21 For an expression of this sentiment by BemstorflP, see Appendix A. 


Within the Council of State, which had been reestablished 
after the coup d'etat of 1772, there was a feeling, however, 
that Bernstorff was too favorably inclined toward England. 
The Prince Royal, a half brother of the demented king, who 
was a member of the Council of State, addressed a letter to 
his fellow members, which was clearly intended for Bernstorff, 
asking point blank why Denmark was pursuing a pro-English 
course. This letter was written March 9, 1780, a short time 
after the American prizes had been returned to England. 
"Can Denmark," he asked, "by becoming a special friend of 
England afford to become the object of the suspicion of 
Russia, of the dissatisfaction of Prussia, of the hate of Spain 
and France, and of the hostility of North America? Are 
we working for England or for Denmark, when at the present 
time we are seeking to induce Russia to become favorable to 
England ^2 

Bernstorff felt that the letter had been written for his 
benefit, and he was much annoyed by its contents, as it cast 
a reflection on his foreign policy. He addressed an answer 
to the Council, which, of course, was intended for the Prince 
Royal, in which he defended his foreign policy in general but 
especially his stand on the American situation. He stated 
that he felt it was his duty to set forth the reasons why 
he was opposed to American independence. Briefly they 
were as follows: (1) Denmark would be unable to protect 
her West Indies if they should be attacked by the Americans; 
(2) the new nation would demand cash in payment for pro- 
ducts; (3) the United States would become a dangerous rival 
in the export of foodstuffs; and (4) the independence of the 
colonies would reduce the Sound Dues.^^ Bernstorff 's anti- 
American feeling was also shown when in 1780 the city of 
Amsterdam made a treaty with the colonies. In a letter 
he stated that the states of Holland ought to punish the mag- 
istrates who had signed the treaty, or they ought to allow 
England to take revenge on the city.^* 

22 Edvard Holm, "Danmarks Neutralitetsforhandlinger 1778-1780," His- 
torisk TidssTcrift, 3dje Rsekke, Vol. V, p. 73. 

23 For an extract from the letter, see Appendix B. 

24 Bernstorff to Beventlow, October 31, 1780. Aage Friis, Bernstorffske 
Papirer, Vol. Ill, p. 633. 


It is now clear why Bernstorff acted as he did in regard 
to the Bergen prizes. It was unfortunate for the United 
States that, when the Danish people and, it would seem, even 
the Danish court were favorable to the colonies, such a 
strong statesman as Count Bernstorff was hostile to our in- 
dependence. On the other hand, he was not, fortunately, at 
the head of a large powerful state. 

Franklin had been informed that Baron de Blome, the 
Danish minister to France, would be given instructions in 
regard to the Bergen prize case. This gentleman stated that 
an old treaty existed between England and Denmark, ac- 
cording to which the Danish government was under obliga- 
tion to deliver the prizes to the British. He did, however, 
not show the treaty to Franklin nor was Franklin able to 
discover such a treaty upon inquiry.^' Denmark consequently 
claimed that being bound by a treaty to England she was 
under no obligation to the United States. After Franklin's 
letter to Bernstorff, the Danish government changed its at- 
titude toward the American sailors at Bergen. By an order 
from court their expenses for the winter were paid, and 
food, clothing, and passage from Bergen to Dunkirk were 
given them at the king's expense.''® When Congress was 
informed of all the facts in the case, it instructed Franklin 
to continue to press the claim on Denmark.^^ Although he 
did so several times, he was unable to obtain any satisfaction.''* 

3. Danish Counter-Claims. 

While Franklin was pressing these claims two incidents 
happened which gave Denmark an opportunity for counter- 
claims. On February 6, 1782, he was informed that on 
December 2, 1781, three American vessels had committed 
outrages on two English merchantmen in Danish waters 
near Flekeroe, Norway. The suggestion was made that it 
was an act of piracy. A demand was made for the punish- 
ment of the offenders and for indemnification for the vessels 

25 Wharton, op. cit., Vol. Ill, p. 744. 

26 Ihid., Vol. Ill, p. 744. 

27 Secret Journals of Congress, Vol. II, p. 313; Ihid., Vol. Ill, p. 413. 

28 Sparks, op. cit.. Vol. Ill, p. 201. 


and cargoes. Congress was informed of the complaint and 
that body through its president, Robert Livingston, informed 
Franklin that he should communicate to the Danish govern- 
ment that the miscreants had been punished by a higher 
hand as they had been lost at sea.^^ 

Shortly afterwards Franklin was informed in a dispatch 
from the Danish minister at Paris that the ship Providentia 
of Christiania, on her way from London to St. Thomas with 
a cargo of merchandise, had been captured by the Amer- 
ican privateer Henry under Captain Thomas Benton, and had 
been taken to a port in New England under the pretense 
that the cargo was English. Denmark demanded restitution 
and payment of damages, and reminded the United States of 
their privileges in the Danish West Indies. A hope was 
expressed that friendship might continue to exist between 
the two nations in their dealings with each other. 

It does not appear that any attention was paid to this 
representation until two years later. On May 16, 1784, 
Congress passed a resolution to the effect ''that a copy of 
the application of the Danish minister to Dr. Franklin, and 
a paragraph of his letter to Congress, on the subject of the 
capture of the Danish ship Providentia, be sent to the su- 
preme executive of Massachusetts, who is requested to order 
duplicates and authentic copies of the proceedings of their 
court of admiralty, respecting the said ship and cargo, to be 
sent to Congress."^" It does not appear that the governor 
of Massachusetts ever reported on this case, nor have any 
court records been found regarding it. As no further cor- 
respondence concerning these counter-claims is on record, 
the cases seem to have been dropped. 

A rather interesting suggestion was made by Robert Liv- 
ingston in connection with these claims. The Danish govern- 
ment had not corresponded with Franklin directly but through 
the French minister, Vergennes. This was done by Bem- 
storff to avoid giving the appearance of recognizing the inde- 
pendence of the colonies. Livingston wrote to Franklin on 

28 Wharton, op. dt., Vol. V, pp. 148, 202, 426. 

80 Ibid., Vol. V. p. 321; Journals of Congress, Vol. IV, p. 350. 


May 30, 1782, that if the powers which had complaints against 
us continued to consider us under England they should pre- 
sent their claims through that nation, but if they considered 
us as independent they should deal with us directly. Frank- 
lin was ordered to act accordingly.*^ From the fact that we 
find no more communications received through the French 
foreign office the conclusion seems valid that Franklin made 
the European powers accept that view. 

Upon inquiry at London it was found that the value of 
the three vessels we had lost amounted to 50,000 pounds 
sterling, hence Franklin presented a claim to Denmark for 
that amount.*'^ Bernstorff caused an offer of 10,000 pounds 
sterling to be made to the United States, not as a payment of 
the claim but as a means of closing the incident. He 
claimed that if the cases had been carried into the Danish 
courts the Americans would have lost all, as by Anglo-Danish 
treaty the ships belonged to England. Franklin, however, 
refused the offer.** 

As this case continued to come up for nearly seventy years, 
the discussion of international law, as it bears on this affair, is 
left till a later chapter. But it may be well to have it clear 
that Denmark gave two reasons for delivering the ships to 
England. The first was the argument that she had not 
recognized the independence of the United States, and the 
second, that her treaty with England forced her to return 
the prizes to the owners. 

Although Franklin stated that he had been unable to 
discover the treaty, as a matter of fact it did exist, and is 
known as the Anglo-Danish treaty of 1660.** It would seem, 
however, that the two governments were not quite satisfied 
with the stipulations put forth in this document, for on July 
4, 1780, a new treaty was made between Denmark and Eng- 
land explaining more definitely Article III of a treaty of 
1670. The new treaty provided that the two powers would 

81 Wharton, op. cit., Vol. V, p. 462. 

82 Secret Journals of Congress, "Vol. Ill, p. 413; Wharton, op. cit., 
Vol. VI, p. 743. 

33 Ibid., Vol. VI, pp. 583-584. 

8* For the part of the treaty of interest to thia work, see Appendix C. 


not assist the enemies, the one of the other, by giving shelter 
to soldiers or vessels, and that they would punish those of 
their subjects as infractors of peace who should act con- 

4. Early Treaty Negotiations. 

When it became evident that the American colonies would 
become independent, it was but natural that Denmark 
should try to establish treaty relations. In December, 1782, 
the Danish charge d'affaires at Madrid inquired of William 
Carmichael, our representative in Spain, concerning the meth- 
od Congress proposed for the interchange of ministers. It 
does not appear whether or not this was done at the request 
of the Danish government. 

More definite steps were taken in February, 1783, when the 
new Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Baron Rosencrone, 
who had succeeded Count Bernstorff, instructed Baron de 
Walterstorff, who was leaving Copenhagen to take up his 
duties as Danish minister to France, to get in communica- 
tion with Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of making a 
treaty with the United States. Rosencrone was not in agree- 
ment with the attitude of his predecessor, Bernstorff. He 
pointed out the advantages of such a treaty to both nations, 
and referred to the "glorious issue of this war to the United 
States of America." He suggested that the treaty already 
made between the United States and Holland be taken as a 
basis on which to work, and that Franklin be asked to suggest 
any changes or additions to the court of Denmark,^^ 

Walterstorff did not fail to carry out his instructions; and 
in April, 1783, Franklin submitted a draft of a treaty 
based, as suggested by Rosencrone, on our treaty with Hol- 
land. He expressed the desire of the United States to enter 
into treaty relations with Denmark, but did not forget to 
suggest that to smooth the way for the negotiations Denmark 
would do well to hasten to settle the affair of the Bergen 

35 DansTce Traotater, 1751-1800, p. 379. 

36 Wharton, op. cit., Vol. VI, pp. 186, 261. 

3T Ibid., Vol. VI, pp. 372-373. For the text of the treaty with Holland, 
see W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc., 1779-1909, p. 1233. 


In aswering Franklin's communication, Baron Rosencrone 
called attention to the fact that Denmark had already made an 
offer, which he hoped Congress would consider as a distinguished 
proof of the friendship of the court of the King. He also 
enclosed a counter-project of a treaty of amity and com- 
merce. With the exception of a few points relating to the 
Revolutionary War, the making of passports, and the gen- 
eral arrangement of articles, this treaty was almost identical 
with the one made with Holland.^® 

Franklin was satisfied with the document and in July, 
1783, sent it to Congress with the hope that it would be rat- 
ified speedily.*^ Almost a year passed and nothing was done. 
On April 2, 1784, a resolution was passed to the effect that 
it would be advantageous to conclude a treaty with Denmark; 
and the following June Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin 
and John Adams were appointed to negotiate with the Dan- 
ish government.*" In September they agreed to invite Baron 
de Walterstorff to meet them at Passy to confer respecting 
the mode of procedure in the negotiations. In February, 
1785, when de Walterstorff was about to leave Copenhagen, 
he asked the American ministers for such suggestion as in 
their judgment might be useful to hasten the making of a 
treaty. This request was made at the order of Count A. P. 
Bernstorff, who through a cabinet crisis had returned to the 
head of the ministry April 14, 1784.*^ The joint com- 
mission made a draft similar to the one sent to Congress in 

It is difiicult to understand why Congress did not ratify 
the treaty of 1783 with Denmark. The records do not indicate 
that it was ever taken up for discussion. At that time Rosen- 
crone, a man favorable to the United States, was at the 
head of Denmark's foreign office. Now Bernstorff, with whose 
sentiments we are familiar, was back in power. It is 

«8 Wharton, op. eit., Vol. pp. 519-527. This gives the text of the treaty. 
8» Ihid., Vol. VI, pp. 585-586. 

*o Ihid., Vol. VI, pp. 698, 721, 801, 805; Journals of Congress, Vol. Ill, 
p. 456; Diplomatic Correspondence, 17SS-1789 Vol. II, pp. 193, 197. 
*i John Steenstnip, et al., Danmarks Siges Historie, Vol. V, p. 435. 
*2 Diplomatic Correspondence, 178S-1789, Vol. 11, pp. 259-260, 265. 


therefore not surprising that in May, 1786, Baron de Blome, 
who was sent to Paris because he was a friend of the re- 
instated chief, informed Jefferson that de Walterstorff would 
not return to France. He was furthermore given the power 
to state that the commerce of Denmark and the United 
States might well be conducted under the conditions then pre- 
vailing without resorting to a definite treaty. If on the con- 
trary the United States were anxious to establish treaty re- 
lations, Denmark would be willing to enter into further 
negotiations.*^ There were apparently no further negotiations 
on the subject at this time, a circumstance which may be 
explained by the fact that Denmark became involved in war 
with Sweden, and the United States went through that era of 
uncertainty often called the ''Critical Period." In the 
light of future events it is regrettable that a treaty was not 
made as it might have saved the United States from a good 
deal of trouble during the Napoleonic Wars. 
5. Negotiations through John Paul Jones. 
The fact that no treaty was made did not mean that we 
gave up our claim based on the Bergen prizes. In Novem- 
ber, 1783, Congress had empowered John Paul Jones to go 
to Europe to solicit payment from Denmark under the di- 
rection of Franklin.** Jones went to France but was un- 
able to accomplish anything and consequently left the affair 
in the care of his friend Dr. Bancroft in London, who was 
to work through the Danish minister at the court of St. 
James.*'^ Dr. Bancroft, however, was no more successful than 
Franklin had been. 

43 Ibid., Vol. Ill, p. 21; Vol. IV, p. 504. The original documents in 
Danish, German, English and Freiich as well as the correspondence con- 
nected with them are found in Rigsarkivet at Copenhagen. Several of the 
letters are in cipher but are translated into Danish and French. The 
material is found under the following heading: "Akter vedrorende For- 
handlingeme om en Handelstraktat mellem Danmark og Nordamerika, 
1783-1786". Dept. F. A. Nord-amerika I. a. The dispatches are tied 
together and marked "Ffirste Pakke." 

44 Ibid., Vol. VII, p. 291-293; Journals of Congress, Vol. Ill, pp. 311, 
430, 796. 

45 Diplomatic Correspondence, 1783-1789, Vol. VII, p. 293. 


Finally Jones decided to go to Denmark to present his 
claim in person. After some delay he obtained permission 
from Congress on the condition that the final settlement 
should not be made without the approbation of our minister 
to France. This was a fatal error, for it gave the slippery 
Count Bernstorff a chance to shift the negotiation. Armed 
with the authorization of Congress, copies of the documents 
relative to the Bergen prizes, a letter from an insurer of 
London stating that each of the prizes was worth 16,000 to 
18,000 pounds sterling, a letter of introduction from Ver- 
gennes to De La Houze, the French minister at Copen- 
hagen, and finally a personal letter of introduction from 
Thomas Jefferson to Count Andreas Peter Bernstorff, Jones ar- 
rived in Denmark in March, 1788.*' He was very cordially re- 
ceived and was presented to the King of Denmark, — who 
did" not speak when anyone was presented, — *'' as well as to 
the pleasant young crown prince.*^ 

Thus far Jones had been successful, but he had not come 
for these civilities. Days and weeks passed, but the minister 
avoided the subject of the Bergen prize claim. Finally Jones 
grew tired of waiting and sent the following note to Bern- 
storff: "Monsieur: Your silence on the subject of my 
mission from the United States to this court, leaves me in 
the most painful suspense; the more so as I have made your 
Excellency acquainted with the promise I am under, to 
proceed as soon as possible to St. Petersburg. Since this 
is the ninth year since the three prizes were seized — it is 
to be presumed that this court has long since taken an 
ultimate resolution respecting the compensation demanded 
by Congress." He continued by stating that while he was 
appreciative of his favorable reception at the court, yet he 
was much concerned because he had heard nothing of the 
matter which was the object of his mission. He closed his 
note by asking for a prompt reply.*® In due time Bernstorff 

« Ibid., Vol. VII, pp. 340, 342, 355-62, 365; Secret Journals of Congress, 

Vol. rv, p. 413. 

*'' Jones probably did not know that the king of Denmark was demented. 

48 Diplomatic Correspondence, 1785-1788, Vol. VII, pp. 365-368. 

*8 Ibid., Vol. VII, pp. 371-372. 


replied that "a train of circumstances naturally brought on 
through the necessity of allowing a new situation to be 
developed of obtaining information concerning reciprocal 
interests, and avoiding the inconvenience of a precipitate 
and imperfect arrangement," had delayed the matter. He 
also stated that the Danish King was anxious "to renew 
the negotiations for a treaty of amity and commerce, and 
that in the form already agreed on, as soon as the new 
constitution (that admirable plan so becoming the wisdom 
of the most enlightened men) shall be adopted by a state 
which requires nothing but that to secure it perfect respect." 
He further stated that, since Jones did not have the final 
plenipotentiary power from Congress to settle the matter, it 
would be unnatural to change the place of negotiations from 
Paris to Copenhagen, especially since they had never been 
broken off but only temporarily suspended. He concluded 
by wishing that friendly relations might continue to exist 
and that a treaty might be negotiated.^" 

This letter terminated the mission of Jones in Copenhagen. 
The wily Bernstorff had been able to defer the settlement of 
the question again. Soon after this, Jones entered 
the service of Czarina Catharina II as commander of 
the Wolodimer. He inquired several times of Jefferson and 
Baron De La Houze as to the status of the Bergen prize 
claims; but not until March, 1790, did he obtain a reply that 
conveyed anything definite. De La Houze wrote to him at that 
time as follows: "As to the affair concerning which you 
speak to me, and in which you have been witness to my 
zeal, — it remains still at the same point where you left it on 
your departure for St. Petersburg, the 15th of April 1788." 
He went on to comfort him by saying that the fact that 
Jefferson, who understood the case so well, had become 
Secretary of State would be of great value in the future 
negotiations. At the present time, however, the disturbed 
conditions in Europe would be likely to make a settlement 

50 Ibid., Vol. VII, pp. 394-396. 

51 Ibid., Vol. VII, pp. 399-401. By the "disturbed conditions" was 


Another year passed. By this time Jones had left the 
Russian service and had come to Paris, from which place 
he wrote to Jefferson on March 20, 1791: "But I must 
further inform you, that a few days after my arrival from 
Denmark at St. Petersburg, I received from the Danish 
Minister at that court, a letter under the seal of Count de 
Bernstorff, which, having opened, I found to be a patent 
from the King of Denmark, in the following terms: 

" 'Having reason to wish to give proof of our good will 
to the Chevalier Paul Jones, Commodore of the navy of the 
United States of America, and desiring, moreover, to prove 
our esteem on account of the just regard which he has 
borne to the Danish flag, while he commanded in the 
Northern seas, we secure to him, from the present date, 
during his life, annually, the sum of fifteen hundred crowns, 
currency of Denmark to be paid in Copenhagen without any 
deduction whatever.' 

"The day before I left the Court of Copenhagen, the 
Prince Royal had desired to speak with me in his apartment. 
His Royal Highness was extremely polite, and after saying 
many civil things, he said he hoped I was satisfied , with 
the attention that had been shown to me, since my arrival 
and that the King would wish to give me some mark of his 

" 'I had never had the honor of rendering any service to 
his Majesty.' 

*' *It matters not; a man like you should be an exception 
to the ordinary rules; you have shown yourself delicate, 
none could be more so with respect to our flag; everybody 
loves you here.' 

"I took leave without further explanation. I have felt 
myself in an embarassing situation, on account of the King's 
patent, and I have as yet made no use of it, although three 
years are nearly elapsed since I received it. I wished 
to consult you; but when I understood you would not 
return to Europe, I consulted Mr. Short and Mr. G. Morris, 
who both gave me as their opinion, that I might with 

meant war, which had broken out between Sweden and Denmark, Russia 
aiding the latter. 


propriety accept the advantage offered. I have, in con- 
sequence, determined to draw the sum due; and I think you 
will not disapprove of this step, as it can by no means 
weaken the claims of the United States; but rather the 
contrary. ' "^ 

From this letter it is clear that Bernstorff, who did not 
wish to pay an indemnity for the Bergen prizes, now at 
least wanted to be on friendly terms with our government. 
The patent given to Paul Jones was evidently given for the 
purpose of soothing his feelings and making him satisfied 
so that he would not further press his claims. The indi- 
viduals involved in the case being satisfied the government 
of the United States would naturally drop the matter, and 
the whole unfortunate affair would be forgotten. For some 
time, at any rate, the matter was lost sight of, but we shall 
meet the problem again at a future date. 

6. Ordination of Episcopalian Ministers. 

In 1783 an American gentleman, who had gone to London 
to receive ordination as a clergyman in the Episcopalian 
church, wrote to John Adams, our representative at The 
Hague, stating that he had been refused ordination by the 
Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury, be- 
cause he would not take an oath of allegiance to the Eng- 
lish crown as required of the clergy of the Church of Eng- 
land. He was desirous of learning whether it would be 
possible for a ministerial candidate to "have orders from 
Protestant Bishops on the continent." 

Soon afterwards when John Adams by chance met M. 
de St. Saphorin, the Danish envoy to The Hague, he inquired 
for the sake of curiosity what stand Denmark would take on 
the matter. Although Mr. Adams only intended this to be 
current conversation, the Danish envoy referred the matter 
to his home government which took it up with the Faculty 
of Theology of the University of Copenhagen. The decision 
which was favorable, was transmitted by the Danish Privy 
Councillor, Count Rosencrone, to John Adams through M. 
de St. Saphorin in the form of regular diplomatic cor- 

62 ihid., Vol. VII, pp. 408-413. 


respondence for the Congress of the United States. It 
stated that candidates for the Episcopalian ministry could 
be ordained in Denmark according to Danish rites, and 
without taking any oath of allegiance. The services would 
be performed in Latin.'^ Adams reported the matter to the 
president of Congress on April 22, 1784. In March, 1785, 
this body sent a communication to Adams instructing him 
to thank his Danish Majesty through M. de St. Saphorin 
for the liberal decision rendered."^ It does not appear, how- 
ever, that the Episcopalian clergy in America ever took 
advantage of the offer. 

68 Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 127-130. 

6* Secret Journals of Congress, Vol. Ill, p. 550. 



1. Interchange of Representatives. 

As early as 1785 it was realized by the United States that 
it would be advantageous to have a regular representative 
in Copenhagen. Congress proposed ''that at courts where 
no ministers reside the charge d'affaires of the United States 
be empowered to exercise the duties of consul general. That 
consuls shall reside at Copenhagen." The proposal, how- 
ever did not pass.^ Since the diplomatic posts at Madrid, 
Berlin, and St. Petersburg were filled only occasionally, it 
could not be expected that such small posts as that at Co- 
penhagen should be taken care of. 

Since Denmark discriminated against the trade of nations 
which had no relations with her through treaties or represen- 
tatives, American Merchants were very much at a disad- 
vantage in Danish ports. During the latter half of Wash- 
ington's first administration Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary 
of State, proposed that we appoint a consul to be located 
at Copenhagen. He suggested the name of Hans Rudolph 
Saaby, a wealthy Danish merchant. Our custom had been 
to make a foreigner only vice-consul; but as that would not 
be in harmony with Danish custom, the higher rank was 
proposed, and Mr. Saaby was appointed March 6, 1792.^ 

During the early days of our national existence state affairs 
were negotiated between the United States and Denmark 
through their ministers to France. Such negotiations were 
later carried on in London. Thus in 1799 a question of an alien 
inheritance tax was handled by Rufus King and Count Wedel 
de Jarlsberg, the representatives at the court of St. James, 

1 Secret Journals of Congress, Vol. Ill, pp. 593-595. 

2 Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. V, pp. 421-422; J. D. Richardson, 
Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Vol. I, p. 117. 



from the United States and Denmark respectively.' Den- 
mark, however, realized that it would be of value to have a 
representative in America; and on November 23, 1800, the 
American government was informed through Rufus King that 
Sir Blicher Olson would be sent to the United States as 
Minister Resident and Consul General.* 

2. The Case of the Brig Hendrick. 

During the rupture of diplomatic relations between the 
United States and France, following the X, Y, Z affair, sev- 
eral cases arose which are of interest in the present narrative. 
It appears that the brig Hendrick'^ under Captain Peter 
Scheelt, of Altona — which at that time was under Danish 
jurisdiction — sailed from Hamburg for Cape Francois in the 
West Indies. On October 3, 1799, it was captured by a 
French privateer, and on October 8 it was recaptured by 
the American sloop of war Pickering under the command of 
Benjamin Hillier and brought into the port of Basseterre, 
in the British island of St. Christopher, also known as St. 
Kitts, one of the Leeward Islands. Here the American cap- 
tors brought it before the British court of Vice-Admiralty, 
which ordered that in accordance with the laws of the United 
States the ship should be sold and one-half of its value 
awarded to the captors as salvage, while the other half, after 
deducting court expenses, was to be given to the owners. 

Denmark made demands on the United States for the 
value of the ship and its cargo. The government investigated 
the case and found that the British admiralty court had 

8 Life and Correspondence of Sufus King, Vol. Ill, p. 161. 
* rbid., Vol. Ill, pp. 334-35, 338-339. A gentleman by the name of 
Campbell had presented himself to Jefferson as minister from Denmark 
in 1790. He did not have any credentials and was most likely an ad- 
venturer. Jefferson asked WUliam Short, charge d'affaires at Paris, to 
inquire of Count de Blome concerning the man, but it does not appesur 
that a reply was received. Writings of Thomas Jeferson, Vol. V, pp. 

6 We use the Danish form. J. B. Moore in his work Intematiorutl Arbi- 
trations, p. 4553, evidently makes a mistake by stating that there was 
a Henry and a Hendrick case. These are without doubt the English and 
the Danish forms of the name of the same vessel. The forms Henrick 
and Heinrich also appear in the documents. 


erred in its interpretation of the laws of the United States. 
The rate of salvage awarded the Americans for recapturing 
the brig from the French privateers had been adapted from 
laws of the United States, which were applicable to recap- 
tures of American property and of such as belonged to belliger- 
ent powers in amity with the United States. It had no refer- 
ence to recaptures of neutral property. It was found that in 
certain peculiar cases of danger, a proportionate rate of 
salvage had been allowed in the past in neutral cases, but 
this case was different because the vessel was bound from a 
neutral port to a French port. Having been captured by 
a French vessel it would therefore not be in danger. The 
Danish government gave proof that, for a year preceding 
the capture of the Ilendrick, most vessels carried into the 
French island Guadeloupe had been released, and in some 
cases even damages had been paid. Besides Denmark claimed 
that the rate of salvage in this case had been too high. It 
was shown that the vessel and cargo were worth $44,500; but 
after satisfying the decree of salvage and paying the court 
expenses, not more than $8,374.41 was left for the owners. 

In February, 1803, President Jefferson laid the case before 
Congress and recommended that, since the Danish government 
had observed a friendly attitude toward the United States and 
since no remedy was now obtainable in the ordinary judicial 
course, that body should take the matter under consideration 
and vote an appropriation to the Danish government for the 
loss sustained.* 

In accordance with the President's recommendation to 
Congress, the House very soon passed a bill to reimburse Den- 
mark but it was defeated in the Senate.^ The matter was 
taken up in the next Congress but with the same result.* 
Denmark, however, did not drop the case. She claimed that 
it was clearly the duty of the United States to pay for the 
vessel since even the officers of the government had ac- 

6 American State Papers, Foreign, Eelations, Vol. II, pp. 483-486, 609-612, 
Vol. rv, pp. 629-632. 

7 Annals of Congress, 7 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 264, 265, 268. 

8 Ibid., 8 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 235, 236, 239, 252, 257, 261, 276, 552, 562, 
787, 798, 881, 883, 887. 


knowledged that a mistake had been made. The commander 
of the Pickering had erred in taking the captured vessel be- 
fore a British court, the sentence of which the United States 
had no power to review. The American government did not 
deny these facts but was impotent in the matter so long as 
Congress failed to make an appropriation for the purpose. 
The reason for the Senate's action became evident later. 

In February, 1805, President Jefferson again laid the 
matter before Congress with the additional documents and 
arguments Denmark had produced. He stated that the 
owners of the Hendrick were entitled to relief and that ac- 
cording to the policy of the United States Congress should 
make provision for payment.® As a result the following bill 

was introduced in Congress: "Resolved: that the sum of 

dollars ought to be appropriated, out of the monies in the 
treasury, not otherwise appropriated, to enable the president 
of the United States to make such restitution as shall appear 
to be just and equitable, to the owners of the Danish brigan- 
tine called Hendrick, and her cargo, which were recaptured 
by an American armed vessel, in the year 1799, and sold by 
order of the Vice Admiralty Court, in the British island of 
St. Christopher: Provided; the Government of Denmark shall 
make compensation for the seizure of certain prizes, captured 
by the armed vessels of the United States, during the late 
Revolutionary war with Great Britain and carried into the 
port of Bergen in the year 1779, and which by order of the 
Danish Government were, without a judicial trial, restored to 
their original proprietors "^° 

This bill like its two predecessors passed the House but 
failed in the Senate. The action of the Senate seems hardly 
fair as the bill proposed to give justice to Denmark only in 
case she paid for the Bergen prizes. Congress was incident- 
ally reminded of the latter just at this time. Peter Landais, 
the French- American commander of the Alliance, which cap- 
tured the three prizes, kept pressing his claim on Congress. 

» J. D. Richardson, op. oit., Vol. I, p. .377. For the documents referred 
to, see State Papers and Public Documents, 1789-1815, Vol. V, pp. 43-48. 

10 Annals of Congress, 9 Cong., 1 Sess., p. 476. 


The very Congress in which the bill just quoted was presented 
voted him $4,000.00 to be subtracted from his final award.^^ 

As long as the United States government continued of the 
opinion that her claim on Denmark was fair, it is evident that 
the Senate was unwilling to pay indemnity for the Hendrick 
until a prior settlement was reached about the Bergen prizes. 
Since the Danish government steadfastly refused to recognize 
that claim, the Senate would not move. It evidently felt 
that when the State Department should reach an agreement 
with Denmark that was satisfactory to Congress, there would 
be plenty of time to appropriate money, if indeed any were 

While direct evidence is lacking, it is possible that an 
additional reason why the Senate did not act favorably was 
the fact that Denmark had recently imposed discriminating 
duties highly favorable to her own carrying trade.^^ Each 
nation, to be sure, is master of its own laws, but often selfish 
laws produce friction, or at least prejudice, between other- 
wise friendly powers. 

3. Murray vs. Charming Betsy. 

A case similar to the one just mentioned is that known as 
Murray vs. Charming Betsy. An American-built vessel called 
Jane sailed for the West Indies where its cargo was sold. 
Later the ship itself was sold to Jared Shattuck, a naturalized 
Danish subject in St. Thomas, who had been born in the state 
of Connecticut. Under the new ownership, with the name 
changed to Charming Betsy, it sailed for Guadeloupe in the 
French West Indies and was seized by a French privateer. 
Later it was recaptured by the United States warship 
Constellation under Captain Murray and taken to St. Pierre 
in Martinique. Its master was Thomas Wright, a Scot who 
had also become a Danish citizen residing in the Danish West 
Indies. In Martinique Captain Murray sold the cargo of the 
Charming Betsy because he believed Shattuck was an Amer- 

11 Ihid., For the bill, pp. 142, 143, 162, 164, 189, 191, 281, 476, 480, 
510, 516. For the award, 435, 453, 516, 520, 779, 799, 824, 838. See 
also Statutes at Large, Vol. VI, p. 61. 

12 American State Papers, Commerce and Navigation, Vol. I, p. 504. 


ican citizen carrying on an unlawful trade with the French. 
After that he took the ship itself to Philadelphia. 

Jared Shattuck claimed the vessel and sued to gain pos- 
session of her as well as to secure damages for the loss of 
her cargo. The case was tried in the Federal District Court 
of Pennsylvania under Judge Peters, who awarded the ship 
and damages to Shattuck on the ground that he was a 
Danish citizen. This conclusion he had reached from the 
fact that Shattuck was holding real estate in St. Thomas, 
which according to Danish Law he could not do as a for- 
eigner. The case was appealed to the Circuit Court and 
finally to the Supreme Court of the United States where in 
February, 1804, Chief Justice John Marshall handed down 
a decree containing the following points: 

(1) Jared Shattuck was before the law a Danish 
citizen, hence the Charming Betsy was Danish prop- 

(2) the American recaptors were not entitled to 
salvage because the vessel, being captured on her 
way to a French port by the French, was not in 
imminent danger of condemnation; 

(3) Captain Murray was not justified in breaking 
up the voyage of the Charming Betsy, because no 
American citizen has a right to interfere with the 
property of Danish citizens when sailing under 
neutral flag on the high seas; and 

(4) Captain Mlirray, therefore, must release the 
Charming Betsy to Jared Shattuck and pay dam- 

This case arose under the same circumstances as the case of 
the Hendrick. The reason the case was so easily settled was 
because the sentence of the court was directed against a 
private individual, who could not take advantage of the 
Bergen prize claim. As Captain Murray was an officer in 
the United States navy and as such had acted in good faith, 
it was natural that Congress should reimburse his loss. In 

18 Murray vs. Charming Betsy, 2 Crunch, pp. 64-125. 


1805 he was paid the original amount and interest by the 

4, Shattuck vs. Mtaley. 

This ease was also connected with the name of Jared 
Shattuck and took an even more prominent place in our 
diplomatic relations that that of the Charming Betsy. 
Through Richard Soderstrom, who was for a time in charge of 
the consular affairs pertaining to Denmark, the facts of the 
case were presented to our foreign department in June, 1801. 
In 1800 the schooner Mercator, owned by Jared Shattuck, 
laden with a cargo of merchandise and consigned to Toussaint 
Lucas, the master of the vessel, sailed from St. Thomas for 
Jacmel and Port Republican in the island of St. Domingo. 
The cargo was valued at $13,920. On May 14 as the vessel 
was entering the port of Jacmel, it was met by the 
Experiment, an armed schooner of the United States navy 
under the command of Lieutenant William Maley. The Amer- 
ican commander took possession of the Mercator and put on 
board of her a prize-master and four seamen who took the 
vessel to some place not known to the owner. The ship was 
never brought to legal adjudication in any court of the United 
States to the knowledge of Jared Shattuck. In the petition 
to the State Department Mr. Shattuck asked for redress of 

James Madison, our Secretary of State, informed Soder- 
strom that the regular way to handle this case would be 
through the courts of the United States. Soderstrom in re- 
turn stated that in Europe, as well as in America, such 
cases were often settled through the foreign department. In 
this case, he added, the leading individual involved, Lieu- 
tenant Maley, was insolvent and outside of the United States; 
therefore it would be difficult to pursue the case to any ad- 
vantage in the courts. To this Madison replied that it would 
be best to follow the regular procedure and that suit should 
be brought by the Minister Resident of Denmark, P. Blicher 
Olson, as he was the only proper organ through whom 

" Statutes at Large, Vol. VI, p. 56. 


Danish subjects could demand reclamation.^' Accordingly the 
case was taken up in the Federal District Court of Pennsyl- 
vania, appealed to the Circuit Court, and finally to the Supreme 
Court of the United States. In his usual masterly style Chief 
Justice John Marshall rendered the decision in 1806.^^ 

In the trial Maley claimed that the Mercator was an Amer- 
ican vessel carrying on an illicit trade with the French West 
Indies. When he met her she was on her way from Balti- 
more to Port-au-Prince, a place in the possession of British 
troops, although her papers declared she was proceeding from 
St. Thomas to Jacmel. He also declared that the name of the 
master of the Mercator indicated that he was a Frenchman or 
perhaps an Italian, while his crew were largely Portuguese. 
According to Danish law foreigners could not legally com- 
mand and navigate a Danish vessel. He further declared 
that Jared Shattuck was an American who had gone to St. 
Thomas to carry on an illicit and clandestine commerce with 
French ports. In order to make no mistake he had left 
undisturbed the papers on board the vessel, and had sent her with 
an officer and four seamen to Cape Francois to be delivered to 
Silas Talbot, then commander of the public vessels of the United 
States in those waters, with instructions that she should be de- 
livered to her master if Commodore Talbot cleared her. About six 
hours later the Mercator was captured by the British privateer 
General Simcoe, commanded by Joseph Duval, who brought 
her to Jamaica where she was libeled as French or Spanish 
property in spite |of the denial of Jared Shattuck. She 
was condemned as a lawful prize and confiscated to the cap- 
tors. Maley therefore contended that since peace existed be- 
tween the United States, Great Britain and Denmark, the 
Mercator would have been cleared in the British court if she 
had been Danish property. 

Jared Shattuck presented proof that though born in Con- 
necticut he was a Danish citizen, that Port-au-Prince, was not 
held by the British but by General Toussaint L'OuverturC; 
that all the papers were in good and regular order, that the 

15 American State Papers, Foreign Relation, Vol. Ill, pp. 344-347. 
i« Maley vs. Shattuck, 3 Cranoh, 458. 


master, though Italian by birth, was a Danish citizen, and 
that Danish law did not require the crew of a vessel under 
the flag of Denmark to be Danish citizens in time of peace. 
The District Court had awarded the owner $41,658.67. This 
was changed in the Circuit Court to $33,244.67, From this 
decree Maley appealed to the Supreme Court of the United 
States which sustained the lower court. 

While Shattuek had won his case in the courts he had not 
yet obtained the money. As Maley was an officer of the Navy 
and insolvent, the government was asked to pay the damage. 
This in turn necessitated action by Congress. Here the same 
difficulties were met as in the case of the Hendrick. In 1810 
the Danish Minister Peder Pedersen requested that the award 
of the court be paid. By a Senate resolution the President 
was asked to lay before that body all the correspondence and 
documents connected with the case. This was done but the 
claim was not paid,^^ for other circumstances had now arisen, 
which will be presented in a later connection. 

5. Danish Aid in Tripoli. 

While the cases mentioned above were pending, the United 
States was involved in what is known as the Tripolitan War. 
Several times Americans had been captured and imprisoned 
in Tripoli. The consul of Denmark, Nicholas C. Nissen, re- 
siding at Tripoli did all in his power to aid the Americans. 
In 1802 Andrew Morris, captain of the brig Franklin wrote to 
a friend: ''Through the interference of Mr. Nissen, his Danish 
Majesty's consul here, I have the liberty of the town." When 
in the year 1803 Captain William Bainbridge was captured 
with the officers and crew of the ship Philadelphia and im- 
prisoned under such conditions that it was impossible for 
them to procure the necessary food and clothing. Mr. Nissen 
took care of the American prisoners for more than nineteen 
months, part of the time at his own expense.^^ In sending 
a request to Commodore Samuel Barron for a person to come 
ashore, Bainbridge suggested that it would be best for that 

17 Senate Jouriial, 9-11 Cong., Vol. IV, p. 466; Annals of Congress, 
(1810), 11 Cong., Pt. II, pp. 2158-2166. 

18 American State Papers, Naval Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 122-124, 150-151. 


individual to come under the guaranty of the Danish consul 
as he was "a man of unquestionable integrity" and was 
"actuated by a desire to serve,^* 

The negotiations between Tobias Lear, commander of the 
United States frigate Constitution, and the Bashaw of Tripoli, 
which led in 1805 to the final settlement of the Tripolitan 
trouble "were also carried on through the Danish consul.^" 
It was therefore natural that Congress should show its appre- 
ciation by passing a joint resolution in 1806 thanking Nicholas 
C. Nissen for his disinterested services.^^ 

6. Danish Spoliation of American Commerce. 

The treaty of Tilsit in 1807 created a situation in which 
England was forced to act quickly and effectively. Con- 
sequently she demanded of Denmark that her navy should 
be surrendered to the safe keeping and control of the 
British fleet, but promised that it would be restored after 
the war. As England probably expected, Denmark rejected 
the proposition as it would make her a vassal of her pow- 
erful neighbor to the west. Great Britain, however, was 
confronted with a situation which had to be settled without 
delay. As a result, on September 2, 1807, she bombarded 
Copenhagen and forced the surrender of the Danish fleet, 
consisting of twenty-two ships of the line, ten frigates, and 
forty-two smaller vessels.^^ 

The natural outcome of this action was that Denmark 
joined France in her war against England. A large num- 
ber of privateers were fitted out for the express purpose of 
preying on the English Baltic trade, which was being carried 
on in spite of the fact that Alexander I of Russia had joined 
Napoleon. By a royal order issued at Rendsborg on Sep- 
tember 14, 1807, Danish privateers were instructed to bring 
into port all English vessels and property of any kind.^' 

19 State Papers and Public Documents, Vol. V. p. 412. 

20 American State Papers, Foreign Affairs, Vol. II, pp. 717-718. 

21 Annals of Congress, 9. Cong., 1 Sess., p. 1296. 

22 Cambridge Modem History, Vol. IX, pp. 237-39, 243, 294-300, 344. 

23 American State Papers, Foreign Relations, Vol. Ill, pp. 327-328; Law 
of September 14, 1807. See Bibliography. 


This order made it very hazardous for English vessels to 
ply through the Danish Sound and Belts. 

England tried very hard to continue her trade, and a 
large number of her merchantmen sailed under armed convoy. 
The demands on the British navy, however, were so great 
that it was impossible to protect her whole merchant marine; 
consequently a large number of vessels found it necessary 
to protect themselves by posing as neutrals. With false 
papers and under the flag of the United States, the only 
nation that was neutral, they attempted to deceive the 
Danish privateers. As a result Denmark felt obliged to 
take measures to capture all ships under false flag. This 
course, of necessity, carried with it the danger of seizing 
a large number of vessels that were truly neutral, and of 
trying them under the smallest and flimsiest pretexts pos- 
sible. To this danger was added the fact that the captains 
and crews of privateers shared a great part of the booty 
thus obtained, which made them greedy to capture vessels 
and secure their condemnation no matter whether they were 
enemy or neutral. 

It was under these circumstances that in July, 1809, 
forty-three American citizens in Christiansand, Norway, pe- 
titioned the President of the United States for aid, since 
they had been captured by Norwegian privateers, subject to 
Denmark, while pursuing their lawful business. They ad- 
mitted that many Americans had connived with England to 
cheat Denmark, and that England was fitting out her vessels 
to look like those of the United States; yet they felt that 
they had not been treated fairly in the courts of Norway. 
Hven though they had proved in court that their property 
was neutral, their voyage legal, and their capture conse- 
quently illegal, yet they had been forced to pay from 400 
to 600 rixdollars to their captors. The American consul, 
Mr. Saabye, of Copenhagen, had been unable to aid them. 
They hoped for help from America as they were liable to 
starve. They also recommended that the President make a 
certain Peter Isaacsen, who had given them much aid, 
American consul in Norway.^* 

24 Ibid., Vol. Ill, pp. 328-333; State Papers arul Public Documents, 
Vol. VII, pp. 314-330. 


Closely following upon this request came a communication 
to the State Department from Peter Isaaesen himself, dated 
August 11, 1809. In this he stated that there were twenty- 
six American vessels held captive in Norway at that time. 
Eighteen of these had been tried and eight were still await- 
ing trial. Of the eighteen, eight had been cleared and ten 
condemned. He explained that England had used every con- 
ceivable means to deceive Denmark, so that navigation had 
practically ceased to be considered an honest business. False, 
falsified or double sets of papers were so common that the 
strictest inquiry was absolutely necessary to ascertain the 
true identity of a vessel. This was the cause of the hard- 
ships experienced by American sailors in Norway. He 
promised to watch over the interests of Americans as well 
as circumstances would permit.^^ 

In October of the same year, the American consul at 
Copenhagen sent a list of fifty-one ships, which were 
claimed by Americans but which had been captured by 
Danish privateers. Twenty-one of these had been condemned, 
and the cases of all but two of these had been appealed 
to a higher court. Twenty-two liad been cleared. Seven 
had been cleared in the prize courts but the captors had 
appealed the cases. One was still pending. About the 
same time, also, seventy individuals and firms sent a com- 
munication from Philadelphia in which they claimed loss 
for damages sustained as a result of Danish privateering. 
They requested the government to intervene in their behalf.^* 

By this time Denmark had become aware that, though 
her privateers were doing effective work in disturbing Brit- 
ish trade in the Baltic, they were also shutting off the im- 
portation of food supplies to Norway. On August 6, 1809, 
Prince Christian August wrote to the King of Denmark that 
the conditions in Norway were very serious and that he 
believed a prohibition of privateering would be advantageous. 
The king replied that he had already repealed the order of 
September 14, 1807, until further notice.^^ It was hoped that 

25 American State Papers, Foreign Belations, Vol. Ill, pp. 330-331. 

26 Ibid., Vol. Ill, pp. 332-333. 

27 J. V. Raeder, Danmarks Krigshistorie, 1807-1809. Vol. Ill, pp. 534- 


the prohibition of privateering would cause England to al- 
low ships to enter Norwegian harbors, but it had the op- 
posite effect. The English war vessels that had been busy 
fighting Danish privateers were now employed to blockade 
the Norwegian ports. It was therefore of no use for the 
Danish government to offer a bonus of two and one-half 
rixdoUars for each ton of food shipped to Norway.^^ 

Denmark now made a very wise move. On December 10, 
1809, she established peace with England's ally, Sweden, in 
the treaty of Jonkjobing. This made it possible for Norway 
to secure food through Sweden and immediately the Danish 
privateers were sent out to harass English shipping,^^ This 
explains President Madison's statement to Congress in his 
annual message December 5, 1810, to the effect that: "The 
commerce of the United States with the North of Europe, 
hitherto much vexed by licentious cruisers, particularly 
under the Danish flag, has lately been visited with fresh 
and extensive depredations.^" 

In view of these conditions in Europe, the American gov- 
ernment soon realized that it was necessary to have a rep- 
resentative in Copenhagen. It was therefore decided to send 
George W. Erving as special envoy to the Danish govern- 
ment. As soon as he arrived at his post he got in touch 
with the Danish Premier, Baron Rosenkrantz, who also had 
charge of foreign affairs. Erving requested that the action 
of Danish prize courts be temporarily suspended in Amer- 
ican cases in order that more definite knowledge might be 
obtained concerning each case before them. This request 
was made 'on June 6, 1811, shortly after he arrived in 
Copenhagen. At the same, time he sent to Baron Rosen- 
krantz two lists of captured American ships, the cases of- 
which were pending before the Danish courts. The first 
list containing the names of twelve ships, dealt with vessels, 
concerning ten of which there was no question in regard to 

536. Saabye in his report, mentioned in the text, stated that the order 
was repealed August 1, 1809. 

28 Ibid., pp. 570, 589. 

29 Ibid., pp. 629-689, passim. 

30 American State Papers, Foreign Belations, Vol. I, p. 77. 


nationality. They had been captured under "clause 'D' of 
the eleventh article of the royal instructions of March 10, 
1810, declaring as a cause of condemnation, 'the making use 
of English convoy.' " The second list was made up of 
sixteen ships which had been captured because among their 
papers were French certificates of origin, that were sup- 
posed to be forgeries, as Denmark had been informed by 
France that French consuls in America had been ordered 
to discontinue issuing them."^ 

Erving did not wait to receive a reply to this letter, but 
on the following day sent another note to Baron Rosen- 
krantz in which he entered more fully into the problem of 
the ships under English convoy, henceforth referred to as 
the "convoy cases." Two of the twelve were laden with 
goods for England and no contention was made for them. 
The other ten, however, were on their way from Baltic 
ports to America. They had passed the Sound and paid 
the Sound Dues. When they entered the Cattegat they had 
been arrested by a British naval force and "compelled to 
join convoy." He contended that the Danish instructions 
of March 10, 1810, were unfair and contrary to international 
law in this instance because they did not take into con- 
sideration the circumstances that had brought the ships 
under the enemy convoy. He asked the Danish authorities 
to cite "examples of the practice of nations" to support the 
legality of the instructions. On the other hand he claimed 
that even England had never gone so far as to condemn 
a vessel on the mere ground that it had been captured 
under enemy convoy. He called Denmark's attention to the 
brave fight she herself had undertaken to maintain the rights 
of neutrals in 1780 and 1800, and he closed the letter with 
expressing the hope that justice might be done, which would 
be so much easier in this case because the vessels had been 
captured by national ships and not by privateers.'* 

On June 28, 1811, Erving received a reply from Rosen- 
krantz. After expressing his satisfaction because friendly 
feeling had always existed between Denmark and the United 

81 Ibid., Vol. Ill, pp. 522-523. 

82 Ibid., Vol. ni, pp. 524-525. 


States, Rosenkrantz went on to explain the cases involved 
in their correspondence. In regard to the "French certifi- 
cates of origin" it was now clear that the cases rested on 
a misunderstanding. On September 22, 1810, the French 
government had informed Denmark that the consuls in 
America had been instructed not to issue them. It now 
appeared these orders had not reached the consuls in Amer- 
ica until November 13. The Danish government had there- 
fore ordered her judges of admiralty courts not to adjudge 
French certificates as evidence against the ships, providing 
they were issued prior to that date. In regard to the ** con- 
voy cases" the Danish government felt that the rule laid 
down in the instructions must be followed, as enemy convoy 
destroyed their neutral character. He held that this prin- 
ciple was just and would even be enforced if a Danish vessel 
should use English convoy. He called Erving's attention to 
the fact that at the time when all other European ports 
were closed to American vessels those of Denmark were 
open. This should convince the United States that Denmark 
desired their friendship and was doing nothing from hostile 

In answer to this communication Erving immediately re- 
plied that he was thankful for the spirit expressed, which, 
of course, he had expected knowing the general trend of 
the Danish court. He was sorry, however, that the Danish 
prize courts did not always follow the spirit of His Majesty, 
and he mentioned the decision of the High Court on March 
11th, 1811, in the Swift case in which a vessel had been con- 
demned on the sole statements of the privateers, who, it had 
been proved, had perjured themselves. American evidence was 
not admitted in this trial. He was unable, however, to agree 
with the arguments given in the "convoy cases." The United 
States would not dispute the right of Denmark to enforce the 
instructions of March 10, 1810, on her own citizens; but it 
was quite a different matter when other nations were involved. 
In fact it was inconceivable that a Danish ship, subject to 
capture by the British, could be found under British convoy. 

88 Ibid., Vol. Ill, pp. 525-527. 


Such a ship would be carrying enemy property and would 
therefor be guilty of treason. It would merit the severest 
punishment. He insisted that the words ''using convoy" in 
the royal instructions must surely be construed to mean 
"voluntary convoy," and could thus not cover the "convoy 
cases." To condemn vessels under such unfortunate cir- 
cumstances would not be a just course for any power to 
pursue toward a friendly neutral. 

In spite of this strong reasoning, Rosenkrantz declared in 
his next communication that His Majesty could not make any 
change in his instructions to his privateers. Any American 
vessel under the convoy of British war vessels, if captured 
in the future by Danish ships, would be considered a lawful 
prize. No European power had called in question the justice 
of this rule. In later correspondence Erving showed that 
two of the "convoy cases" were ships that had been captured 
by Denmark and released by the Danish courts because their 
neutrality was fully established. It was thus clear that the 
vessel had not voluntarily joined convoy. In the case of the 
Hope, Captain Rhea, the British commander, Charles Dash- 
wood of H. M. S. Pyramus, had boarded the vessel and entered 
on the ship's papers that he had ordered her to join convoy 
to prevent her going to an enemy's port with provisions and 
to prevent her from being captured by England's enemies.** 

In Erving 's report to the Secretary of State, he made a 
summary of the arguments that he had put before the Danish 
government in behalf of the Americans. The most flagrant 
violations made by Denmark were those connected with the 
"convoy eases." He enclosed tabulated reports of the sit- 
uation of American claims which show the following status 

on May 30, 1811: 

Captures in 1809_-. 63 

Captures in 1810 124 

Total 187 

Cleared 114 

Condemned . ~ 31 

Pending 14 

»* Ibid., Vol. Ill, pp. 527-529; State Papers and Public Doauments, 
1789-1816, Vol. VIII, pp. 307-308. 


Condemned cases of a desperate character. ^ 16 

Cases transferred to Paris 2 

Convoy cases pending . 10 

Total 187 

As privateering at this date was still going on, the number 
swelled to much greater proportions.^^ 

Because many vessels had been condemned and sold by 
Danish prize courts, and because it was impossible to re- 
verse such action, Erving, finally on November 4, 1811, pre- 
sented reclamation claims to the Danish government. His 
communication was soon after answered by Baron Rosen- 
krantz who sent a counter-claim to Mr. Erving for the 
Hendrick and the Mercator cases, which have been described 
above. Soon after this Rosenkrantz sent a direct reply to 
Erving 's note of November 4, the gist of which was that as 
Denmark had been fair in her prize decisions it would be 
impossible to pay for the condemned vessels. Erving 's counter- 
reply was clear and straightforward. He reminded the Danish 
government that in the two cases mentioned the United States 
had broken no international law, but that the cases had arisen 
through error of officers, for which errors Denmark might yet 
expect to receive redress. The action of Denmark, on the other 
hand, was a direct violation of the laws of nations. If this 
were not so, he had invited the Dainish Minister of Foreign 
Affairs to discuss the principle upon which the reclamation 
was founded. *'Can it be deemed to be a satisfactory answer 
to such a reclamation that other nations have submitted to 
similar decisions'? Can it be imagined that the term 'defini- 
tive' as applied to such decisions is conclusive against the 
United States? Can it be expected that they will acquiesce in 
a decision as just, because it is termed 'definitive'?" He ex- 
plained that the various governmental instruments, such as 
courts, were created by the sovereign who was responsible for 
their action. When a foreign nation was injured by a tribunal, 
the sovereign could not refer it for justice to the instrument 

35 Ibid., Vol. VII, pp. 314-342; Ibid., Vol. VIII, pp. 205-233, 305-323; 
American State Papers, Foreign Belations, Vol. Ill, pp. 521-536, 557-567. 
These references give the correspondence and the reports in full. 


that caused the complaint. "What is this but to adopt the 
injustice complained of?" Once the decisions of courts were 
made the controversy was no longer between individuals, the 
ship-owners and the privateers, hut between the American 
government and the Danish king. As Denmark could rest 
assured that America would pursue her reclamation claim, he 
hoped that a plan might be adopted which would satisfy our 

In a very conciliatory note of May 8, 1812, Rosenkrantz 
declared to Erving that, if it could be proven that American 
subjects had just cause for complaints, his Danish majesty 
would be very willing to redress their grievances. From this 
statement it would appear that the Danish foreign minister 
did not recognize that 'it had become a government affair 

The last communication from George W. Erving to Baron 
Rosenkrantz was dated April 18, 1812. As stated, Rosenkrantz' 
reply came May 8. Soon after this Erving left Copenhagen 
for Paris and the United States consul at Hamburg, John M. 
Forbes, was sent as charge d'affaires to take care of the few 
cases that were still pending before the courts of Denmark. 
As the War of 1812 started in June, the Danish situation nat- 
urally became a minor affair compared with the task of fight- 
ing England. At the same time it became impossible for 
American merchantmen to sail the high seas. Consequently 
Danish spoliation stopped for lack of material to capture. 
For the time being our claims on Denmark lay dormant. In 
a later chapter the adjudication of the spoliation claims will 
be taken up.*^ 

8« state Papers and Public Documents. Vol. IX, pp. 90-119. 

«» Erving 's correspondence concerning the Danish spoliation is also found 
in Annals of Congress, 12 Cong., 1 Sess., Pt. II, pp. 1980-2016, and 12 
Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 1201-1222. 


MENT OF CLAIMS, 1815-1847 

Although the international relations that have been traced 
in the two preceding chapters covered a period of more than 
forty years, during which time a large number of disagree- 
ments had arisen, yet friendly relations continued to exist. 
This state of affairs could hardly be expected to continue, 
however, unless a settlement of the disputed points could be 
reached. It is the solution of these problems that will be set 
forth in this chapter. 

1. Danish Claims against the United States. 
Denmark's efforts to obtain satisfaction for the loss of the 

Mercator and the Hendrick have already been set forth. In 
1812 she renewed the claim in behalf of Jared Shattuck for 
the loss of the Mercator. A bill was introduced in Congress by 
the committee on claims, proposing that relief should be given. 
This bill passed both houses; but as no further trace of it 
appears anywhere, it is probable that it was handed to the 
president for his signature at the close of the session and dis- 
posed of by a ''pocket veto",^ 

In December, 1819, President Monroe laid before Congress 
the case of the brig Hendrick, for which Denmark had re- 
newed her claim, through her minister at Washington and 
C. N. Buck, consul-general of Hamburg at Philadelphia. The 
case was taken up in the Senate but reported unfavorably on 
account of existing claims of the United States against Den- 

2. The Treaty of 1826. 

It was a rule of Denmark to discriminate against nations 

1 Annals of Congress, 12 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 54, 64, 65, 66, 67, 197, 844, 

2 American State Papers, Foreign Belations, Vol. IV, pp. 629-632; Annais 
of Congress, 16 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 39, 801, 891, 1169, 2253-2259. 



with which she had no treaty relations, by putting higher 
duties on goods imported from them than was placed on im- 
ports from countries with which treaties were established. It 
was for this reason that Washington in 1792 placed a consul 
at Copenhagen.^ This action, did not remove the discriminat- 
ing duties.* Several times the United States government was 
reminded by her consuls at that port that our merchants were 
paying half again as high duties as those of Great Britain, 
Holland, France and the other nations which had treaties with 

It seems probable that this situation caused the United 
States to take active steps to bring about treaty relations. Just 
how much preliminary correspondence passed between the two 
governments before a treaty was finally made we cannot say, 
for the dispatches in the archives at Copenhagen covering 
the period 1821-1829 do not even mention that correspondence 
had been carried on ; but on April 26, a " Convention of Friend- 
ship, Commerce and Navigation" was concluded between Peder 
Pedersen, the Minister Resident of Denmark at Washington, 
and Henry Clay, the American Secretary of State. 

The treaty of 1826, which, with a few changes, is still in 
force, consists of twelve articles touching on the most vital 
points of international relations. In brief outline the contents 
are as follows: Article I, contained the most favored nations 
clause. Article II, provided that, the coasting trade excepted there 
should be freedom of trade between the two countries. By 
Article III, mutual privileges were established in regard to 
importation, exportation, and re-exportation of all articles, 
which might be lawfully handled in the respective countries. 
The duties of one country upon vessels of the other should 
not be higher than on native vessels. Article IV, provided 
that duties and prohibitions should not be placed on imports 
and exports between the two countries unless the same became 
equally binding on other powers. Article V declared that, in 

8 Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. V, p. 421. 

* Ibid., Vol. VI, p. 476. 

6 American State Papers, Commeroe and Navigation, Vol. I, p. 504; 

Ibid., Vol. n, pp. 353, 367. 


regard to the duties in the Sound and Belts, the United 
States should be on the same basis as the most favored nations. 
Article VI stated that the convention should not pertain to 
the northern possessions of Denmark nor to the direct trade 
between Denmark and the Danish West Indies. According to 
Article VII, taxation in either country, in case of removal 
of the respective subjects of the other, should not be higher 
than that paid by its own citizens. By Article VIII, mutual 
exchange of consular representatives on the basis of the most 
favored nations clause was to be established. It was provided 
by Article IX that, exequatur having been granted, the repre- 
sentatives of the two powers should be recognized by all authori- 
ties and inhabitants in the district where they resided. Accord- 
ing to Article X, consuls, and their foreign servants, should 
be exempted from services and taxes, and the archives of the 
consulate should be inviolable. Article XI declared that the 
convention should be in force for ten years, and further until 
the end of one year after either party gave notice to terminate 
it. Under Article XII, ratifications were to be exchanged 
within eight months.^ 

Before the Secretary of State was willing to affix his signa- 
ture to this document, he sent a note to Chevalier Pedersen, 
Minister Eesident from Denmark, to the effect that this treaty 
should not be interpreted to mean that the United States 
waived her claims for indemnities due to her citizens from the 
Danish government. The minister was requested to transmit 
the note to Denmark together with the text of the treaty. Upon 
the acknowledgment of the receipt of this note by Pedersen, 
Henry Clay signed the treaty.'^ 

Soon after the treaty was ratified Steen Bille took up the 
work of Chevalier Pedersen as Danish representative at Wash- 
ington. In November, 1826, Henry Clay inquired of him 
whether he had received any information as to the interpreta- 
tion that Denmark placed on Article VII of the treaty. It 

e W. M, Malloy, Treaties, etc., Vol. I, pp. 373-377. American State Pa- 
pers, Foreign Belations, Vol. V, pp. 905-907, Department of Foreign Af- 
fairs. Philadelphia Beretninger 18X1-18Z9. Nordamerika II. Bapporter. 
(American dispatches, package 2. Rigsarkivet, Copenhagen.) 
7 American State Papers, Foreign Belations, Vol. V., p. 907. 


had been rumored in the United States that American citizens 
could not remove their property from the islands without 
paying the tax known as "sixths" and "tenths." It was ex- 
pressly for the benefit of these citizens that the clause had been 
inserted. Steen Bille answered immediately that he had an- 
ticipated such fears, and as soon as he arrived he informed 
his government of the interpretation that might be made by 
the authorities of the islands. He had received answer that the 
Danish government well understood why the article was in- 
cluded in the treaty. Americans could rest assured that noth- 
ing would be done which would defeat the original intent.* 

3. The Arbitration Treaty of 1830. 

In pursuance of the intention to press our claims against 
Denmark, the House of Representatives in May, 1826, requested 
the Secretary of State to lay before it a full report of the 
claims for indemnity due from that country. This report, 
given in January, 1827, revealed that there were in all 167 
claims amounting to $2,662,280.36.^ It was evident that if we 
were ever to obtain payment for those losses we would have 
to send a minister to Denmark. Consequently Henry Wheaton 
was appointed to go to Copenhagen to negotiate a settlement. 
In May, 1827, Henry Clay sent instructions to Wheaton and 
stated that where his instructions were silent he should follow 
international law and always keep in mind that we wanted a 
friendly feeling to exist between the United States and Den- 
mark. After reviewing the history of the spoliation cases, 
which was based on the correspondence of George W. Er\'ing 
and Baron Rosenkrantz, Clay proceeded to set forth the details 
connected with the cases. He showed that the seizure and 
condemnations had been made on the following grounds: (1) 
possession of false papers making British property appear to 
be American; (2) sailing under British convoy, hereby losing 
the immunity our flag afforded; (3) possession of French con- 
sular certificates of origin after the French consuls had been 

e For the correspondence between Clay and Bille see Niles' Weekly 
Register, (1826) Vol. XXXI, pp. 220-221. 

» American State Papers, Foreign Eelations, Vol. VI, pp. 384-385, 504- 
535. 614-624. 


prohibited from issuing them, except to vessels bound for 

In regard to the first of these grounds, Clay stated that the 
principle followed by Denmark was entirely correct. We were 
as anxious as any that those who sailed under our flag un- 
lawfully should be punished. In these cases it was only a 
question of establishing the facts proving whether the vessels 
condemned were truly American or not. He further held that 
in regard to the ''convoy cases" it was a question of whether 
or not convoy had been joined voluntarily. Even in the case 
of voluntary assumption of convoy it would depend on the 
purpose for which it had been joined. If neutrals had not 
joined convoy for an unlawful purpose, there would be no 
reason why they should be captured and condemned by Den- 
mark. Being unarmed they would not add to England's 
strength. Indeed, they would weaken her power, as they ex- 
panded her sphere of protection. If a friend's goods on an 
enemy's vessel were not liable to condemnation, there would 
be no reason why a friend's goods in a friend's vessel should 
be liable to condemnation just because that vessel was under 
enemy convoy. In an enemy's vessel the goods of a friend 
would surely be more closely blended with that of the enemy 
than in the case of convoy. The third ground for condemna- 
tion, as alleged by Denmark, was void of basis of fact. French 
consuls could legally issue certificates of origin to the date they 
received orders to discontinue the practice, which was on 
November 13, 1810. The vessels seized had received them 
earlier than that date. Even if these certificates were not 
genuine, that would not change the condition so far as Den- 
mark was concerned. They might have warranted detention by 
the French and possibly condemnation in a French court, but 
to Denmark they were unimportant no matter whether they 
were genuine or false. 

Having set forth these general principles, Clay proceeded 
to state that Wheaton should keep in mind that, after the 
arrival of George W. Erving, Denmark had changed her atti- 
tude, a fact shown by the restraint placed on her privateers 
and courts. She had, however, not given redress for those 
already wrongfully condemned, the reason given being that the 


king could not reverse the sentences of his courts. We had 
already made clear to Denmark through Erving, that we were 
not now asking for a reversion of the sentences of the courts, 
but for indemnity due as a result of those sentences. The 
government would have to be responsible for the mistakes 
made by the courts, because the courts received their instruc- 
tions from the government. This was especially true in regard 
to the "convoy cases," which were condemned by authority of 
a special order. 

Clay then related, in some detail, the subsequent negotiations 
in the affair and closed his instructions by suggesting that a 
board of commissioners should ascertain the amount due the 
United States. The method, however, was not vital. To pro- 
cure indemnity was the real object. If Denmark was finan- 
cially unable to pay the full sum, we might be willing to accept 
a compromise.^" 

Henry Wheaton was somewhat delayed in presenting these 
matters to the Danish officials for two reasons. The cases of 
the Commerce and Hector were pending between the United 
States and Russia. One of these cases involved the question 
of reviewing a sentence pronounced by a prize court. This the 
Russian government refused to do, but finally consented to 
pay an indemnity. The point of reviewing a court decree was 
precisely the one at issue between the United States and Den- 
mark. Therefore Wheaton waited to see what would be the 
outcome of the Russian case. The fact that Russia had paid 
an indemnity in a similar case naturally gave added strength 
to the arguments later presented by Wheaton. Further delay 
took place because of a royal marriage which for, the time 
being, completely engrossed the attention of the court.^^ 

In July, 1828, however, Wheaton was able to present the 
matter to Count Schimmelman. He stated that he had full 
plenipotentiary power to negotiate and terminate the whole 
matter. He followed closely the instructions sent him by 
Henry Clay, and stated that the United States would be very 
willing to have a joint commission appointed to cover the 

10 Executive Documents, 22 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. VI, Doc. 249, pp. 2-10. 
" Ihid., pp. 10-11. 


whole field of spoliation claims, but that, if Denmark prefered 
a settlement en hloc, that method would be satisfactory to the 
United States. After a great deal of discussion, Wheaton was 
at last able to report to his government on January 31, 1829, 
that the king had appointed Count Schimmelman and the Min- 
ister of Justice, Count de Steman, as a committee to treat 
with him on the subject." In the spring of that year a change 
of administration took place in the United States and the 
new Secretary of State, Martin van Buren, sent Wheaton a 
full copy of all the claims against Denmark, under the direc- 
tion of John Connell, a Philadelphia lawyer who was the special 
representative of many of the claimants interested in the 
indemnity.^^ In August, 1829, a conference was held between 
the Danish commissioners and our representative in which the 
whole field of argumentation was gone over again. To close 
the matter and avoid the consideration of individual cases, 
Denmark finally made a verbal offer to pay us 500,000 marcs 
banco of Hamburg, and to waive her claims to indemnity for 
the M creator and the H end/rich. This offer was made on the 
condition that all claims of the United States for captures by 
Danish cruisers should be forever abandoned. Putting the 
value of the marc banco of Hamburg at thirty-five cents and 
the two Danish ships at $65,000, which was approximately 
what Denmark claimed they were worth, the offer of the 
commissioners would amount to about $230,000. This offer was 
wholly inadequate to cover the claims presented, which, as 
stated, amounted to $2,662,280.36. Wheaton so informed the 
Danish commissioners and after a conference with John Con- 
nell made a counter-proposition stating that we would accept 
3,000,000 marcs banco of Hamburg, and Denmark should re- 
nounce her claims for the Mercator and the Hendrick. If that 
offer was accepted our indemnity would amount to about 

In September a second conference was held. On this occa- 
sion the Danish commissioners argued that the United States 
could not support their claims on the mere assertion that they 

12 Ibid., pp. 12-16. 

13 Ibid., pp. 16, 18. 


had sustained losses, because their vessels had been condemned. 
They must prove that the evidence which was to establish their 
neutral character was actually produced in court by those to 
whom they had entrusted the property. It must also be proved 
that the judges had pronounced arbitrary sentences and acted 
contrary to the duties of their office. It was to avoid the 
enormous work of going into details of each case that Denmark 
had been willing to make a proposition for settlement." 

This meeting adjourned without making a reply to the new 
arguments. Later Wheaton showed that, according to the 
principles of international law as exemplified in specific cases 
connected with Russia, Prussia, England and the United States, 
there was no legal way for Denmark to avoid paying the in- 
demnity. Besides if the sentences of the Danish tribunals were 
to be considered conclusive, it would mean that a belligerent 
state was invested with legislative power over neutrals. It was 
clear that the decision of an admiralty tribunal could only be 
conclusive so far as the individuals were concerned; they 
could not be binding on foreign nations. He also discussed the 
three points upon which Denmark based her right to capture 
and condemn foreign vessels, and dealt with them along the 
lines laid down in his instructions.^^ 

When a report of the conferences and the Danish offer was 
made to the American government, the Secretary of State sent 
new instructions to Henry Wheaton in January, 1830. Martin 
Van Buren, under the influence of his chief, Andrew Jackson, 
expressed regret that Denmark was not more willing to make 
a settlement. Wheaton was instructed that if nothing could be 
done to complete a settlement he was to inform the govern- 
ment of Denmark that "the present Executive would not be 
wanting in all suitable exertions" to make good the declaration 
that a just indemnity was wanted.^® In a friendly but firm 
note the Danish commissioners were informed of the attitude 
of the American govemment.^^ 

" Ibid., pp. 19-21. 
15 Hid., pp. 22-29. 
i« Ibid., pp. 39-40. 
" Ibid., pp. 40-42. 


Without question the Danish authorities realized from this 
communication, which was dated February 25, 1830, that 
affairs were approaching a crisis. Denmark's trade with the 
United States might in a comparatively short time suffer more 
than the price of a settlement. Something must be done if 
friendly relations with the United States were to continue. 
At this point King Frederick VI of Denmark took matters into 
his own hands and ordered his commissioners on March 23, 
1830, to make an offer to Henry Wheaton to settle the case py 
paying "650,000 Patagons. " Upon the condition that Den- 
mark would relinquish her claims for the Mercator and Hen- 
drick the offer was accepted and embodied in a treaty. This 
document was signed at Copenhagen on March 28 and later rati- 
fied by the Senate of the United States. Ratifications were ex- 
changed in Washington on June 5, 1830.^^ 

The treaty is very brief, containing only six articles. The 
'first of these provided for the relinquishment of the claims for 
the Mercator and the Hendrick, and the payment of $650,000 
by the Danish government to the United States. The second 
and third described how the money should be paid and dis- 
tributed. The fourth and fifth articles released Denmark from 
any further payment of indemnity for spoliation claims. The 
last article dealt with the manner of the ratification of the 

It had been a long and tedious procedure to secure this 
settlement. The provisions, however, were promptly carried 
out by the Danish government. In agreement with the terms 

18 J, D. Richardson, op. cit., Vol. II. pp. 481-482. The minutes of the 
conferences held between Henry Wheaton and the Danish commissioners 
are found in Danish and French in the Department of Foreign Affairs, 
Rigsarkivet, Copenhagen. The letter from King Frederick VI is in his 
own handwriting. Dept. F. A. Nordamerika I, b, Akter vedrdrende 
Konvcntionen af 1830, 28 Marts, 1825-1830. (American dispatches, pack- 
age 3.) 

19 For a full statement of all the claims, see House Executive Documents, 
19 Cong., 2 Sess., Vol. IX, Doc. 68: For the diplomatic correspondence 
connected with the treaty, see also American Annual Begister, (1831-32), 
Vol. VII, Appendix, pp. 214-261. For text of the treaty, see W. M. 
Malloy, Treaties, etc. 1776-1909. Vol. I, p. 377; also, Niles Begister, 
Vol. XXXVIII, pp. 307-308. 


of the treaty a necessary act was passed by Congress. To 
provide for the distribution of the money among the claimants 
a commission was appointed by President Jackson. It con- 
sisted of George Winchester, Jesse Hoyt, William J. Duane, 
and Robert Fulton. When its work was completed in March, 
1833, the commission made a final report to the Secretary of 
State.^° At the close of the year 1833 all the money had been 
paid by Denmark and distributed by the commission.^^ 
4. Proposal of Reciprocity witln St. Croix. 
The measure known as the "Tariff of Abominations," passed 
in 1828, was very detrimental to the trade between the United 
States and the Danish West Indies. To create a better situation 
Denmark sent General P. von Scholten as a special envoy to 
Washington in the fall of 1830 to arrange for a reciprocity 
treaty, the operation of which should be limited in its scope. 
General von Scholten, who was Governor-General of the Dan- 
ish West Indies, reminded the American government that Den- ' 
mark reserved the whole trade of the islands to herself and 
the United States. On account of proximity, the islands ob- 
tained practically all their supplies from the United States 
and we in turn imported the raw products of the islands. 
Denmark felt that it was unfair for the United States to 
place very high duties on her imports, thus leaving a very 
small profit for the islands. If this condition continued it 
would become necessary to levy a duty on goods imported from 
the United States to the islands, thereby shifting the trade to 
other countries. To avoid this he proposed an extension of 
Article VI of the treaty of 1826, which would bring about a 
state of reciprocity. He suggested the following amendments: 
(1) only ships under the Danish and the American flags 

20 For the text of this report, see J. B. Moore, International Arbitrations, 
Vol. V, pp. 4569-4572. 

21 Senate Journal, 21 Cong., 2 Sess., p. 218; House Journal, 21 Cong., 
2 Sess., p. 396; Statutes at Large, Vol. IV, p. 446. Soon after the treaty 
was made several insurance companies presented claims to the United 
States for the Hendrick on the plea that according to the treaty Den- 
mark had now relensed her claim. The committee which had the matter 
in charge made an unfavorable report. House Journal, 21 Cong., 2 Sess., 
p. 346. 


should be allowed to carry on trade in St. Croix; (2) corn 
and corn meal should enter the island free of duty; (3) other 
commodities should be arranged in a tariff schedule in such 
a way that not more than five percent ad valorem could be 
put on necessities of life and not more than ten percent ad 
valorem on luxuries; and (4) in order to keep reciprocity in 
amount as well as in rate, the islands of St. Thomas and St. 
John should not be included in the treaty.^^ 

After due consideration Van Buren informed General von 
Scholten that we were unable to make such a treaty because 
of the most favored nations clause which was included in 
almost all of our treaties. If we should give concessions to 
Denmark, other nations could immediately claim the same 
privileges. We hoped that whatever measures Denmark should 
see fit to carry out, she would always be guided by principles 
consistent with the existing treaty, and directed by motives 
in harmony with the present friendly feeling between the two 

The Danish envoy expressed his regret because of the 
existing diplomatic situation. He requested, however, that the 
whole matter be laid before Congress for its consideration. 
Being assured of this by the Secretary of State, he left 
the subject in the hands of the Danish charge d'affaires. Steen 
Bille.^* The president laid the matter before Congress in 
December 1830.^^ It was reported to the House by Mr. Cam- 
breling, of the committee on commerce, in March of 1831. 
The whole situation was explained in the report together with 
General von Scholten 's proposals. It was shown that the 
Danish West Indies were virtually a commercial appendage 
of the United States. On account of the diplomatic difficulties 
which would arise if the proposals were put into operation, 
the report, when read, was laid on the table.^^ Denmark, how- 

22 Senate Documents, 21 Cong., 2 Sess., Doc. 21, pp. 2-9. 

23 lUd., pp. 9-11. 

24 Ihid., pp. 11-15. 

25 Richardson, op. dt.. Vol. II, pp. 531-532. 

26 The total imports to the United States from the Danish "West Indies 
for the year ending September 30, 1826 amounted to $2,067,900. The 


ever, did not carry out the threat, made by von Scholten, of 
laying duties on American goods. On the contrary, she passed 
a law more liberal than any former one. President Jackson 
in his message to Congress intimated that she had set a good 
example in her colonial policy, which it would be well for 
other nations to follow.^^ 

5. The Termination of the Jones Claims. 

In March, 1806, Congress had paid $4000 to Peter Landais, 
the French captain of the Alliance which had captured the 
Union, the Betsy and the Charming Polly in 1779 and brought 
them into Bergen.^* It is possible that other claims arising 
from the Bergen affair were put before Congress prior to 
1812; but as many governmental records were destroyed in 
the burning of the capitol during the War of 1812, no definite 
record remains of some things that had been transacted. From 
records extant it appears that Secretary Monroe on December 
14, 1812, sent a note to the Danish charge d'affaires at Wash- 
ington, stating that a report was current that Denmark had 
decided to pay the claims. If this report were true our 
government was interested to learn how it would be executed. 
A few days later an answer was received in which it was stated 
that Denmark had never recognized the claim "as a fair and 
legal one and it had for many years already considered it as 
a superannuated and abandoned affair."^® 

In January 1820 a claim, which the previous month, had 
been presented to Congress by James Warren, a lieutenant on 

export to the islands for the same i)eriod equalled $1,391,004. In that 
same year our direct commerce with Denmark equalled $100,582. in ex- 
ports and $49,246. in imports. Congressional Debates, 19 Cong., 2 Sess., 
Vol. m, Appendix a, folder. 

27 Richardson, op. oil.. Vol. Ill, pp. 24-25; Senate Documents, 23 Cong., 
1 Sess., Doc. 1, p. 7. For the correspondence between General P. von 
Scholten and Martin Van Buren, see Congressional Debates, (1830-31), 
Vol. VEI, Appendix, pp. 159-166. For the report in the House of 
Representatives, see ibid.. Vol. VII, pp. 846-847; Beports of Committees, 
21 Cong., 2 Sess., Doc. 117; Hov^e Journal, 21 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 134, 405. 

28 Senate Dooum,ents, 24 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. HI, Doc. 198, p. I; Beport 
of Committees, 29 Cong., 1 Sess., Doc. 206, p. 6. 

28 Annals of Congress, 16 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. I, pp. 256-258. 


board the Alliance, was acted upon unfavorably by that 
body.^° From this time no claim seems to have been pre- 
sented till December, 1836, when Janette Taylor, a niece of 
John Paul Jones, who had become his legal heir, presented a 
memorial, asking for the money due as a result of the Bergen 
prizes. She called the attention of Congress to the fact that 
in 1806 relief had been granted to Peter Landais, although at 
that time he was a disgraced officer incapable of serving in 
the United States navy, as the result of being court martialed 
on January 6, 1781. Besides, Jones was his superior in rank. 
She reminded Congress that it was Jones who had first dis- 
played the flag of the United States on board the Alfred before 
Philadelphia. On board the Ranger in Quiberon Bay, Febru- 
ary 14, 1778, he had claimed and obtained from M'onsieur La 
Motte Picquet the first salute received from a foreign power. 
Papers were presented to prove that Jones had taken enough 
British prisoners to redeem all our prisoners in Great Britain. 
In spite of repeated requests for relief he had died without 
receiving the money due him for the Bergen prizes. ^^ 

At about the same time, several other claims of a similar 
nature were presented to the government of the United States. 
William C. Parke claimed a share in the Bergen prizes on 
behalf of his father Mathew Parke, who had been a captain 
of marines on board the Alliance. Nathaniel Gunnison pre- 
sented a claim in behalf of his father John G. Gunnison, who 
had worked on board the same vessel as a carpenter. Still 
another claim was advanced by Lucy Alexander, who likewise 
held an interest in the prizes.^^ As a result, the president was 
requested by Congress to present the matter to the govern- 
ment of Denmark.^^ It seems, however, that nothing was 
done at this time. Consequently the heirs of Jones again 
called the attention of our government to the claims; and in 

30 Ibid., pp. 33, 257, 277. 

"1 For the legal documents connected with the Jones* claim, see Exeou- 

tive Documents, 24 Cong., 2 Seas., Vol. I, Doc. 19, pp. 1-29. 

»2 Eeport of Committees, 24 Cong., 2 Seas., Doe. 297. pp. 1-3; House 

Journal, 25 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 49, 259-60, 305, 311. 

S3 Senate Journal, 24 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 130, 385, 554. 


1843 the House of Kepreseutatives asked for and obtained 
from. President Tyler the correspondence connected with the 

From the material obtained by the House it appears that 
an inquiry had been made to discover whether the indemnity 
of $650,000 paid by Denmark in 1830 was supposed to cover 
the Jones claim. John C. Calhoun, who was Secretary of State 
at the time, had stated that he saw nothing in the treaty to 
that effect. A letter was also sent to Henry Wheaton, Minis- 
ter of the United States at Berlin, who had negotiated the 
treaty with Denmark in 1830, asking for his opinion on the 
matter. Henry Wheaton 's reply is very clear and throws 
much light on the subject. Dealing with the question whether 
the long time that had elapsed since the rise of the claims had 
invalidated them, he stated that, if this case should be given 
over to a third power for arbitration, the claim would most 
likely not be held valid, because almost seventy years had 
passed since it arose. He suggested therefore that, in order 
not to harm the case, his opinion on this point ought to be 
kept secret. He felt sure, however, that the claims were not 
precluded by the indemnity treaty of 1830. Nothing was said 
in that treaty about the Bergen prizes and it was expressly 
stated that the $650,000 were paid for "the seizure and con- 
fiscation of American vessels and property by the cruisers of 
Denmark, or within the Danish territory during the war which 
commenced between Great Britain and Denmark in 1807 and 
was terminated by the peace of Kiel in 1814."^^ 

Touching the problem of international law involved in the 
Bergen prize case he made several comments. When a group 
of people form a revolution to shake off the government of the 
"metropolitan country" and to establish an independent na- 
tion, other nations may follow various courses while the 
struggle is still going on. They may remain passive; they 

8* J. D. Richardson, op. oit., "Vol. IV, p. 320; Executive Documents, 28 

Cong., 1st Sess., Vol. II, Doc. 264. 

85 The wording of Wheaton 's statement is faulty according to the text 

of the treaty. See W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc., 1776-1909, Vol. I, p. 



may recognize the revolting portion formally and yet remain 
neutral in the struggle; and finally, they may form an alliance 
with one of the parties. With these facts in view, he asked, 
what attitude ought Denmark to have adopted toward the 
United States? A neutral state, without any doubt, had the 
right to forbid belligerent vessels to bring their prizes into 
her harbors, provided she acted impartially and let her inten- 
tions be known. She might even grant the privileges of her 
harbors to one of the belligerents and refuse it to the other 
if it had been so ''stipulated by treaties existing previous to 
the war." Denmark, not being an ally of Great Britain, 
should as a neutral have shown hospitality to the vessels 
brought in by the Americans, provided she had no previous 
treaty with England which she was under obligation to ob- 
serve. Neither could Denmark defend herself on the basis of 
the right of postliminii or reversion of previous condition. 
This does not exist except between subjects of the same state 
or between allies. Again, as Denmark was not an ally of Great 
Britain, she could not take advantage of that international 

Denmark, he added, seemed to rest her ease largely on the 
fact that she had not recognized the independence of the 
United States. The question, however, was not whether she 
had acknowledged our independence, but whether such a state 
of war actually existed between the nations as made it the 
duty of all nations to respect the rights of both. "Denmark 
must either have considered the United States as lawful 
belligerents, or as pirates, incapable of acquiring any of the 
rights of just war. In the former case, she was bound to 
perform towards them all the duties of impartial neutrality. 
In the latter, her conduct, if its motive had been avowed, 
might have provoked resentment, as an act of hostility, ac- 
companied with insult. In either alternative her interference 
to disturb the lawful possession of the captors would have 
justified immediate reprisals; though prudence might have 

36 Under jus postliminii property captured by an enemy, upon its recap- 
ture by a friend, reverts to its owner. See also Monsieur de Vattel, Law 
of Nations, Chitty's edition, Bk. Ill, ch. 14. 


induced the American government to refrain from resorting 
to this extremity." Wheaton felt however, that allowance 
should be made for the circumstances under which the affair oc- 
curred and for the ideas of the day. Denmark had not yet en- 
tered the Armed Neutrality, and a colonial revolt was considered 
a crime. Besides, England probably brought very powerful 
pressure to bear on the rather weak Danish state. It was 
clear from the correspondence connected with the case that 
Denmark sought to "excuse and palliate" rather than to 
justify her action.^^ 

Wheaton 's letter, sent by the State Department to William 
W. Irvin, our representative in Copenhagen in 1843, formed 
the basis of his communication to the Danish foreign office, 
dated February 10, 1845. More than two years passed before 
the Danish government replied. Finally, on June 4, 1847, 
the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Reventlow- 
Criminil, answered Irvin 's letter. In this communication 
every argument that had come up in the whole controversy 
was dealt with in detail. As Wheaton 's letter was a master- 
ly exposition of the American side of the question, so this 
letter was a close rival stating the Danish side. It is therefore 
important to give a full review of it. 

He expressed surprise because the United States at so late a 
period should revive a claim which arose during an age when 
the peace of the world was disturbed with a large number of 
serious and complicated questions. The first question with 
which he dealt was that of Denmark's obligations to the two 
belligerent powers. He informed Irwin that the United States 
was wrong in stating that Denmark was under no obligation 
to comply with the demand of the British government for the 
release of the Bergen prizes. On the contrary she was bound 
by a treaty of 1660, then in force, to do just what England 
demanded of her. No one could deny that the colonies were 
in revolt against England and were carrying on a civil war. 
As Denmark had not recognized the independence of the 
United States, the three prizes could not be regarded by her 

87 For the text of the letter from Henry Wheaton see Executive Docu- 
ments, 28 (Jong., 1 Sees., Vol. II, Doc. 264. 


as anything but British property, which according to the treaty 
mentioned must be restored.*® Under the existing circum- 
stances, therefore, Bernstorff could not have entered into official 
correspondence with Dr. Franklin without recognizing the inde- 
pendence of the colonies. This, he stated, must have been 
his reason for not producing the treaty in question. On the 
other hand, the offer made by M. de Walterstorff was styled 
a gratuitous donation, and was not to be regarded as an 
acknowledgment by the Danish government of a wrong com- 
mitted. On the basis of these arguments he held that the 
claims of Commodore Paul Jones were without legal founda- 

But, he maintained, there were further reasons why no claim 
should be made at this time. Not only were the claims in 
themselves invalid, but they were now both superannuated 
and prescribed. The United States had only made one very 
indefinite demand since 1788. That demand, if indeed it 
might be considered as such, was in a letter from the Secre- 
tary of State to the Danish charge d'affaires at Washington, 
dated December 18, 1812. Mr. Pedersen had replied that 
Denmark had never recognized the claim as fair and besides 
that it was now superannuated. No further demands had been 
presented and the matter was dropped. If the claims were 
recognized by lack of action to be superannuated then, how 
much more now thirty-five years later? If the United States 
had still intended to put forth a claim it should have been 
presented in 1830 when a treaty was made for the express 
purpose of putting an end to all existing claims. Reventlow- 
Criminil closed by saying that he was firmly convinced that 
the arguments presented would "be sufficient to put an end 
to the claims forever," and "to remove all subjects of discord 
. . . between the government of the United States and that 
of his august sovereign."*® 

«* The treaty provided that the contracting parties would not harbor the 
enemies or rebels, the one of the other, nor allow their subjects to do so. 
In the same way the property of the one, being brought into the realms 
of the other by enemies or rebels, should forthwith be restored. For the 
text of Article V, see Appendix C. 
3» For full text of the letter from Reventlow-Criminil to W. W. Irvin, 


It is of interest to notice how well the arguments of Henry 
Wheaton and those of Reventlow-Criminil agree on the main 
points of international law. Both recognized statutes of limi- 
tation, although our government in the past had not accepted 
this principle.*" The two men were also agreed in regard to 
obligations where a treaty existed. They did, however, not 
agree on the question of the recognition of independence. 
Wheaton took the stand that Denmark was under obligations 
to the United States no matter whether or not she had recog- 
nized their independence, while Reventlow-Criminil held that 
on account of the existing treaty Denmark was under obliga- 
tions to England at least until she had recognized the inde- 
pendence of the colonies. Till that time she would have to 
treat them as rebels and could not enter into diplomatic rela- 
tions with them. 

It seems quite clear that for two reasons Denmark was under 
no obligation to pay the Jones claims in 1846. The first of 
these is intrinsic in the case. When she gave back the Bergen 
prizes to Great Britain she was performing a duty under a 
treaty, hence could not be held culpable by a third party. 
The second reason is found in the principle of prescription, 
which operated in this case because of the lapse of time. On 
the basis of this principle the rights of the United States must 
have terminated, if not earlier, at least in 1830. Denmark, 
however, committed what might be called a moral wrong by 

see Beports of Cominittees, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., Doc. 9, pp. 54-56. The 
diplomatic dispatches, connected with this affair, located in the Depart- 
ment of Foreign Affairs, Eigsarkivet at Copenhagen are not released for 
the use of the public. 

*o Expressing the opinion of a former committee on foreign affairs, Mr. 
Maclay, chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, on February 10, 
1846, made the following statement in the House of Representatives in 
regard to the Jones case. "It is not, as intimated by Mr. Pederson, 
an abandoned affair, nor is it a superannuated one. Questions of 
honor and right, as between sovereign states, are not to be summarily 
disposed of like the debt of an individual, by a statute of limitations. 
There is no lapse of time which discharges a nation of the right to 
demand of another nation reparation for a palpable wrong.". Beport 
of Committees, 29 Cong., 1 Sess., Doc. 206, p. 6. 


failing to set forth more fully and convincingly the facts of 
the treaty of 1660 in the early stages of the negotiation. 

It appears that the matter was dropped. The claims of 
the heirs of Jones and others connected with the Bergen prize 
affair were, however, still before Congress. To dispose of the 
whole affair, as well as to honor the name of the great revolu- 
tionary commodore. Congress passed an act on March 21, 1848, 
for the relief of all concerned. Thus ended the history of 
the Bergen prize case and of the Jones' claims — the first and 
also the longest drawn out controversy between the United 
States and Denmark.*^ 

*i For the documents in full connected with the Jones' claims, see 
ibid., pp. 1-29; House Journal, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 429-432, 626; 
Senate Journal, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., p. 229; Beport of Committees, 30 
Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. I, Doc. 9; Senate Beports, 33 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. I, 
Doc. 180; Senate Executive Documents, 37 Cong., 2 Sess., Vol. IV, Doc. 
1; Status at Large, Vol. IX, p. 214. 


LEMS, 1841-1860 

1. Abolition of the Sound Dues. 

The Baltic Sea would be a mare clausum if it were not for 
the three narrow straits, which, by their continuation through 
the Cattegat and the Skagerak, connect it with the North Sea 
and the Atlantic Ocean. The Little Belt between Jutland and 
the island of Fyn (Fuenen) is too shallow to be of much use 
to navigation. The Great Belt between Fyn and Sjceland 
(Zealand) does not run in a favorable direction for ships 
bound for the eastern Baltic ports. Consequently the Oresund, 
or, as it is known in the English tongue, the Sound, between 
Zealand and Sweden has always been the main entrance to the 
Baltic. From time immemorial the dues collected for the priv- 
ilege of passing through the Sound or Belts had constituted 
a rich source of Danish revenue. 

To understand why a difference should arise between the 
United States and Denmark in regard to the collection of the 
Sound Dues it is of importance to know approximately when 
and how these dues originated. Because of their early origin 
they were intrically interwoven with the political and economic 
systems, not only of Denmark, but of Europe. On account of 
their age Denmark insisted on her right to collect the dues, 
the right being a part of the law of nations; while on the 
very same ground the United States insisted on her right of ex- 
emption from paying the dues, as she had never been the benefi- 
ciary of the acts and movements through which the dues had 

Students during the last fifty years have set forth the 
theory that the Sound Dues originated between the years 1423 
and 1429. Their contention is based on a statement in the 
"Liibecker Tage" of July, 1423. where it is reported that the 



king at Copenhagen levied a toll on the ships in the Sound.^ 
Their conclusion is somewhat strengthened by the fact that no 
records exist in the Danish archives dated before the year 
1497. From that date till 1660, actual records are extant of 
the number of ships that passed the Sound, their nationality, 
and the amount of dues collected, for one hundred and ten 
years passim out of the one hundred and sixty three.^ 

It appears, however that the date 1423 is not, after all, the 
year of the origin of the Sound Dues. The Danish historian, 
Baden, has advanced the theory that the early Danish kings 
had complete control over the Sound and Belts. They felt 
it to be their duty to keep them cleared of pirates. When 
strangers wanted to sail through, either for the sake of war, 
for trade, or for obtaining herrings in the Sound, they had to 
secure permission of the Danish king. This could only be 
obtained through the payment of money. Thus the dues 
originated because the king rendered a service.^ This theory, 
although plausible, would not be of much value per se. Docu- 
ments, however, are extant which show the existence of the 
dues earlier than 1423. On April 4, 1436, the City of Danzig 
sent an inquiry to the City of Liibeck asking what was their 
understanding in regard to the status of the Sound Dues, 
since the peace with King Erick.* Liibeck answered on April 
21, 1436, that according to the treaty between them and the 
King of Denmark (Erick of Pomerania) they were to enjoy 
all the old privileges, and as freedom from the payment of 
Sound Dues was one of those privileges they did not intend 
to pay the dues.'' It seems clear, while not conclusive, that 

1 This is the conclusion of the Danish historian, J. A. Fredericia, in 
his article, "Fra hvilken Tid skriver Sundtolden sig?" Historisk 
Tidsskrift, 4de Rsekke, Bind 5 (1875-1877), pp. 1-20. The same opinion 
is held by the German historian, Dietrich Schafer, in his article, "Zur 
Frage nach der Einfiihring dea Sundzolls, " Hansische Geschichtsbldtter 
1875, pp. 31-43. For the basis of their statement see Appendix D. 

2 These records have been published by Nina EUinger Bang, Tabeller 
over Skihsfart og Varetransport gennem Oresund, 1479-1660. 

3 Gustav L. Baden, A f handling er i Fcedrelandets Historic, Vol. II, 
pp. 221-260. 

* Hansereccesse, Abth, II, Vol. I, pp. 485-486. 
5 Ibid., pp. 486-487. 


the dues according to this statement must antedate the year 
1423, or the term "old privileges" must have a peculiar mean- 
ing in this place. 

On February 6, 1386, a treaty was made between Denmark 
and certain Prussian towns in which the latter were promised 
free navigation of the Sound, providing they would not station 
ships of war there, but trust to the Danish king to keep it 
clear.* In 1328 King Christopher II granted exemption from 
toll in the Great Belt to the monastery of Soro. It is self- 
evident that dues must have been charged in the Sound as 
early as they were in the Belts, otherwise there would have 
been no traffic in th Belts at all. Hence we may infer that 
the Sound Dues date back at least to 1328.'' 

From time to time Denmark's right to collect the Sound 
Dues was recognized by treaty. It is not necessary to give 
here a history of the treaties dealing with this subject. It will 
suffice to state that the rate of dues was based on a schedule 
incorporated in the treaty of Christianople in 1645, between 
Denmark and Holland. Certain obscure portions in this 
schedule were explained in a supplementary treaty with the 
Dutch in 1701. Upon this basis dues were collected till 1841, 
when a treaty was made between England and Denmark 
establishing a new schedule. This treaty, with a few changes 
established in an amendatory treaty of 1846, remained the 
basis until the dues were abolished in 1857.® 

The Sound Dues were not collected with equal regularity 

« Begesta Diplomatica Hiatorice, p. 426. For the text of the 
agreement, see Hanserecesse, Abth. I, Vol. II, pp. 372-373. 

7 J. F. W. Schlegel, DanmarTcs og Eertugddmmemes Statsret, Chapter 
VTI. Macgregor states: "The most ancient charter extant, referring 
to toll payable in the Sound and Belts, is that granted by Erick Menved 
in 1319 to the Town of Harderwieck in Holland stipulating the rate 
of duty to be paid by Dutch ships at Nyborg, upon the conveyance 
through the Belts of cloth destined for sale." John Macgregor, Com- 
mercial Statistics, Vol. I. p. 165, Note. I have been unable to find 
any other reference to this document. 

8 M. Thomas Antoine de Marien, Tableu des Droits et Usages de Com- 
merce jRelatifs au Passage du Sund; F. Hessenland, On Sound-Dues; 
H. Sclierer, Der Sundzoll. These works give a good resume of the sub- 


and for the same purpose at all times. By a royal decree of 
1532 King Christain III ordered dues to be collected,® an un- 
necessary order if they were being collected. In 1633 Chris- 
tian IV caused special dues to be levied so that a better harbor 
might be built at Elsinore where the ships had to lay in to 
pay the dues.^° In 1692 the dues were farmed out for the sum 
of 160,000 rixdollars, which sum must have been too large, as 
Eduart Krusse, the farmer of the revenue, complained he could 
not pay it.^^ This condition was probably the cause of a 
royal decree which ordered dues to be collected from Danish 
vessels as well as foreign." The fact noted above that we 
have records for only one hundred and ten years between 
1497 and 1660 may perhaps be explained on the same basis. 
During the seventeenth century much dissatisfaction arose on 
account of these irregularities.^^ When, however, the dues of 
every nation were put on the basis of the Dutch treaties of 
1645 and 1701, the dissatisfaction disappeared. At least, 
complaints appeared to cease during the eighteenth century. 

The country that paid the greatest part of the Sound Dues 
was naturally Great Britain. As stated, she had secured con- 
siderable reduction by the treaties of 1841 and 1846. Because 
of the most favored nations clause incorporated in nearly 
every treaty, practically every country was benefited by the 
Anglo-Danish treaties. So far every nation acquiesced, legally 
at least, in their existence. 

The first nation that refused to pay the dues was the United 
States. The first popular discontent was expressed in the 
Boston Monthly Magazine of January, 1826. Here Caleb Cush- 
ing argued that it was not in harmony with our dignity to 
pay tribute to any nation, especially where no quid pro quo 
was received. Whether Denmark could justly claim the dues 

» For the text of the decree, see C. F. Wegner, Bigsarkivets Aarsberet- 
nvnger, Vol. Ill, p. 30. 

10 For the text of the decree, see Appendix E. 

11 "Diary of King Christian V." March 30, 1692. C. F. Wegener, 
GeheimerarTcivets Aarsberetmnger, Vol. VI. p. 287. 

12 Ibid., p. 274. 

18 Ibid., Vol. Ill, pp. 97-98 Vol. VI, p. 315. 


in the past was of little importance to us as there was now no 
adequate reason why we should pay them." 

In May 1841, Daniel Webster, the Secretary of State, called 
the attention of the President to the fact that even though 
we had comparatively little direct commerce with Denmark, 
yet we paid a yearly sum of about $100,000 in Sound Dues, 
Besides this, we paid port dues even though we did not enter 
Danish ports except to pay the Sound Dues. He recommended 
that our minister to Denmark enter into communication with 
the Danish government to have this condition changed." 

When in 1844 Calhoun became Secretary of State, he wrote 
to Wm. W. Irvin for all the information he could get in 
regard to the navigation in the Sound, but requested that the 
matter be kept secret. Irvin sent this information and sug- 
gested that, if the United States intended to terminate the 
treaty of 1826 in order to bring the Sound Dues question to 
a head, she had better not wait too long "as the wheels grind 
slow in Denmark."^* It appears that nothing further was 
done at this time. In 1848 the new minister, Robert P. Flenni- 
ken, in a conversation with the Danish Minister of Foreign 
Affairs broached the question of the abolition of the dues. 
The Danish minister, according to Flenniken, acknowledged 
that the dues were unfair and that he could not defend the 
principle upon which they were being collected. A little later 
the American Secretary of State, James Buchanan, in a letter 
to Flenniken expressed his satisfaction with the acknowledg- 
ment of the Danish minister. He suggested that, as the reciproc- 
ity in navigation arranged for in the treaty of 1826 was 
altogether one-sided in favor of Denmark, it was fair that 
Denmark should abolish the Sound Dues on our vessels to 
even up matters. Buchanan even suggested that Flenniken 

" The article is reprinted from the Boston Monthly Magazine in the 

North American Beview, April, 1826, Vol. XXII, pp. 456-459. 

IS Executive Documents arul Beports of Committees, 27 Cong., 1 Sess., 

Doc. 1, pp. 26-28. 

i« "Letters of John C. Calhoun "Annual Beport of the American 

Historical Association, 1899, Vol. II, pp. 590-591; Executive Documents, 

33 Cong., 1 Sess., Doc. 108, pp. 28-30. 


might offer Denmark $250,000 if such an arrangement could 
be made permanent." 

At the time that Flenniken laid Buchanan's offer before 
Count A. V. Moltke, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
Denmark was engaged in the Three Years' War. Count Moltke 
asked our minister to put his request and offer in written 
form; which he did. The reasoning followed in this communi- 
cation includes several points. It was pointed out that, accord- 
ing to the treaty of 1826, America was not allowed to enter 
all Danish ports, while Denmark was free to enter all of ours. 
Other nations paid Sound Dues for services Denmark had 
rendered to them in the past. Since we had never received 
any of those benefits we ought not to pay the dues. The Baltic 
being a free sea, the entrance to it ought to be free; this was 
in accordance with the best authorities on international law. 
The very fact that Denmark had to make treaties in regard 
to the Sound Dues, was a proof that they were not sanctioned 
by the law of nations. Before closing his communication he 
made it clear to the Danish government that if Denmark was 
unwilling to make a change the United States intended to 
terminate the treaty of 1826.^* 

It was quite clear, however, that while Denmark continued 
at war with Germany nothing definite could be accomplished. 
Besides, the Danish government had borrowed money in Eng- 
land and her creditors had obtained a pledge that the Sound 
Dues should be kept sacred for the payment of interest on the 
loan. Added to this was the fact that Russia was favorable 
to Denmark and used Elsinore as a projected naval police 
station. It is evident, therefore, that those two countries 
would back Denmark in upholding the payment of the dues.^^ 

At the close of the Three Years' War, Robert P. Flenniken, 
who had become well acquainted with the facts pertaining to 
the Sound Dues, was no longer our representative in Den- 
mark. Two other men followed in quick succession.^" In 1854 

17 Ibid., pp. 38-42. 

18 Ibid., pp. 42-49. 
i» Ibid., pp. 49-51. 
20 See Appendix I. 


Henry Bedinger was appointed to the post at Copenhagen. At 
this time William L. Marcy was Secretary of State under Presi- 
dent Pierce. Marcy instructed Henry Bedinger to bring the 
subject to the attention of the Danish government, as it must 
be settled. He showed to our representative that it was to 
England's advantage to keep up the Sound Dues because the 
duty on raw products was higher than on manufactured goods; 
thus she gained by importing raw products into England and 
making it into manufactured goods which were shipped (to 
Baltic ports. Bedinger was further informed that the United 
States would not be willing to make any payments or give 
any commercial privileges in lieu of the abolition of the 

Henry Bedinger broached the matter to the Danish foreign 
office, but was informed that Denmark could not abolish the 
dues without remuneration. Later the Danish Minister of 
Foreign Affairs expressed the hope that the United States 
would not press the matter just at that time (April, 1854) 
because of the political situation in Europe. Some day, so he 
thought, there might be a possibility that Denmark, for a 
compensation, would abandon the dues altogether. Being re- 
minded that the United States government was unwilling to 
give any compensation, he stated that he had strong reasons 
to believe she would.*^^ 

In spite of the request not to urge the matter while the 
Crimean War was in progress, Marcy endeavored to bring the 
matter to a speedy conclusion. Denmark was informed that 
the American government had decided to terminate the treaty 
of 1826.*^ In ans\ver to this notification, the Danish govern- 
ment through Torben Bille, its representative at Washington, 
communicated to Secretary Marcy its views in regard to its 
right to collect the Sound Dues. The United States had claimed 
that the dues were not sanctioned by the law of nations, but 
were based on special conventions made between Denmark and 

21 Executive Documents, 33 Cong., 1 Seas., Doc. 108, pp. 54-58. 

22 Ihid., pp. 59-61. 

23 Executive Documents, 34 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. I, Doc. 1, p. 25. 


the various powers. It was this point that Torben Bille 
especially sought to refute. 

The Sound Dues, he claimed, were based on the law of 
nations by immemorial prescription. The right to collect them 
had existed long before any treaties were made regulating the 
rate. If the right were based on treaties, it would mean that 
the various strong powers in Europe had voluntarily made 
a grant to Denmark. This was contrary to historical facts. 
Neither was it reasonable to suppose that Denmark was able 
to force her will upon the strong and powerful European 
states. In that case they would certainly never have incor- 
porated them voluntarily in their treaties with Denmark. 
While the origin of the Sound Dues was shrouded in the 
uncertainty of antiquity, yet it was clear that when inter- 
national affairs began to be regulated by definite rules, the 
right to collect the dues was so well established, that without 
protest it was incorporated in treaties. Although the Danish 
government would be willing to admit that, according to the 
present interpretation of international law, the imposition of 
similar duties now, for the first time, could not be sanctioned, 
yet she would not admit that this should be a criterion by 
which to judge rights that had been in existence since time 
immemorial. He further pointed out that the treaty of 
Vienna recognized the Sound Dues in the settlement of 
European affairs, at a time when similar arrangements were 
being remodeled. Under these circumstances, the abrogation 
of the treaty of 1826 would not affect a right which existed 
independently of the treaty. It would only leave the United 
States shorn of the rights and benefits which she enjoyed as 
a result of the treaty. Because of the existence of other 
treaties, it would be impossible to exempt the United States 
from the pajonent of the duties on their commerce, as every 
other nation would claim the same advantage.^* 

Marcy did not even deem it worth while to answer Bille 's 
letter, but replied to the Danish government by instructing 
Henry Bedinger to request, in a final appeal, that American 
commerce be relieved of the burden. If this should prove 

2* For text of the letter, see ibid., pp. 25-28, 


unsuccessful, he was instructed to inform the Danish gov- 
ernment that the treaty of 1826 was abrogated and to request 
acknowledgment of the fact from the Danish foreign office. 
Bedinger carried out his instructions.^' 

It may be of interest at this point to learn what was the 
general attitude of the leading powers towards the Sound Dues 
situation. Of the German states, Prussia was very much op- 
posed to the dues. The question was discussed in the Laiidtag 
by von Sanger who was backed by that body in his opposi- 
tion. Unfavorable articles appeared in the papers of K61n 
and Hamburg, and a letter from Hamburg, containing the 
same sentiment, appeared in the New York Tribune.'^^ A 
vigorous pamphlet was published in Stettin in German, Eng- 
lish, and French condemning the dues as unjust and con- 
trary to international law.^^ 

In England, on the other hand, the sentiment in general 
does not appear to have been much opposed to the dues. We 
have found only one unfavorable expression, before the mat- 
ter was taken up in Parliament. It runs as follows: "When 
the ten year treaty between Great Britain and Denmark made 
in 1841 comes to a close, some means ought to be found for 
the perpetual redemption of the Sound Dues."^* In 1856 
Palmerston expressed his opinion to Count Persigny and 
Count Walewski, the French and the Russian Ministers at 
London, as being against the abrogation of the dues.^® Similar 
opinions were offered at this time in Parliament. Bramley- 
Moore, sitting for Maiden, felt that to abrogate the dues by 
a money payment was to use public money for the benefit 
of a few traders. Besides, it would be unfair because the 
Sound Dues had been hypothecated in London for a loan to 

«8 Ibid., pp. 28-32. 

26 De Bow's Beview, (1855), Vol. XVIII, pp. 760-763; Executive Do<y 
wnents, 33 Cong., 1 Sess., Doc. 108, pp. 26-28, 31-32; New York Tribune, 
September 2, 1856. 

2T F. Hessenland, Le Droit du Sund, passim. 

88 Edinburgh Beview, (1845), Vol. LXXXII, p. 212. 

2» "Aflfisning af Sund og. Belttolden," Historisk Tidsskrift, 1858-1859, 

3dje Eeekke, Vol. I, pp. 486-488. 


Denmark,^" In spite of these voices, however, England 
finally took a stand in favor of capitalization, as we shall see 

In February, 1854, Henry Bedinger wrote to Secretary 
Marey that Russia was backing Denmark ''by requiring her 
ports to refuse to receive the cargo of any vessel which has 
not paid the dues. ' '^^ According to a statement made by Gen- 
eral D'Oxholm, the Danish representative at the court of St. 
James, to James Buchanan, our ambassador at the same 
court, Bedinger 's report was hardly correct, as it was not 
through an act of the central government, but by municipal 
regulations that the ports had acted. ^^ Russia, however, 
had made it clear to the Danish government that she would 
stand by Denmark in her demands.^^ 

The question naturally arises, why was Russia in favor 
of letting Denmark continue to collect the Sound Dues? There 
certainly were economic reasons why she should be in favor 
of their abolition. It seems very probable that her attitude 
was based on dynastic grounds. During the fifties it was 
evident that King Frederick VII would not leave any legal 
heirs. This caused the rise of the very unfortunate Danish 
succession problem. There were three sets of pretenders to 
Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein. The nearest heir to the 
Danish throne was Princess Louisa, of the House of Olden- 
burg, who was married to Duke Christian of Gliicksburg, a 
gentleman who himself had a close claim to the duchies and 
a remote claim to Denmark. While Louisa could inherit Den- 
mark and Schleswig the Lex regia was against her in Holstein, 
as it did not recognize female succession. The second pre- 
tender really had no true claim, as his father had sold his 
right for 3,000,000 rixdoUars which had been paid by Den- 
mark. This claimant, of the House of Augustenburg, held 
that, as he was of age when his father sold the claim, his right 

80 Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, Vol. CXLIV, pp. 2400-2404. 

SI Executive Documents, 33 Cong., 1 Sess., Doe. 108, p. 60. 

32 Buchanan to Marcy, April 20, 1855. J. B. Moore, WorTcs of James 

Buchanan, Vol. IX, pp. 345-346. 

83 Letter from Berlin, dated September 15, 1855, New York Tribune, 

October 5, 1855. 


was not included.'* The third pretender was Czar Nicholas 
I of Russia, a descendent of Czarina Catharina II, who 
belonged to the House of Gottorp in Holstein. In 
order to secure a legal title to the Baltic provinces which 
Peter the Great had secured for Russia in the treaty of 
Nystad, she had made a treaty with Denmark on April 22, 
1767 in which that country gave up all her claims to the 
provinces while Cathrina II renounced her right to the duchy 
of Schleswig.^' "While this treaty had referred only to Schles- 
wig, there was a historic indissoluble union between the 
duchies. It was further understood that whoever ruled in 
Schleswig would also rule in Denmark, so that the three ter- 
ritories were tied together in a personal union,'* When the 
question of succession arose in Denmark Czar Nicholas began 
to hope that he might revive his claim, and thus secure for 
hdmself or some member of the Romanoff family the three 
Danish realms. It was his good fortune that he was able to 
make a treaty with Denmark on June 5, 1851, in which the 
provisions of 1767 in regard to the succession were changed in 
his favor.''^ With such prospects before him he would not 
want Denmark to give up anything that might become very 
valuable to him in the future. While the Protocol of London, 
1852, settled the succession on Christian of Glticksburg, ''Russia 
.... never lost the possibility of the succession out of view.** 
When it became clear that the Sound Dues must be abol- 
ished, Russia became the leader in protecting the rights of 

Even in the United States, where the movement for the 
final abolition took form, all were not in favor of the at- 
titude of the State Department. Thomas H. Benton in the 
Senate held that we should not do anything to abrogate the 

8* G. Ft. de Martens, Beoueil, Vol. XVII, Pt. II, p. 332; Joh. Steenstnip, 
op. oit., Vol. VI, Pt I, p. 341; Camb. Mod. Hist., Vol. XI, p. 226. 

»» DansJce Tractater, 1751-1800, p. 232. 

86 Camh. Mod. Hist., Vol. XI, p. 224; Joh. Steenstrup, op. oit., Vol. VI, 
Pt. I, paswm. 

87 Danske Tractater, 1800-186S, pp. 220-223. 

88 Camh., Mod. Hist., Vol. XI, p. 224; See also letter from Karl Marx 
from London in New York Triburie, May 6, 1853. 


Sound Dues, but that we should by friendly negotiations 
always be sure that we were treated on an equality with 
the most favored nations. Having given the exact figures 
for the year 1850, he showed that our commerce in the Sound 
compared with that of Europe at the ratio of one to two 
hundred. ''These figures show the small comparative inter- 
est of the United States in the reduction, or abolition of the 
dues — large enough to make the United States desirous of 
reduction or abolition — entirely too small to induce her to 
become the champion of Europe against Denmark; and, 
taken in connection with our geographical position, and our 
policy to avoid European entanglements, should be sufficient 
to stamp as Quixotic, and to qualify as mad, any such at- 

One of the members of the House, Hugh F. McDermott, 
published a series of articles in the New York Times from 
June 1 to November 6, 1855. These were later published in 
pamphlet form. The letters argued that we should not 
disturb the Sound Dues as such action would be injurious 
to Denmark, a friendly nation, and would not benefit the 
United States. The Sound Dues were a part of the Baltic 
tariffs. All the dues paid by the Prussian cities were re- 
funded by the Prussian government to encourage eastern 
trade, hence our action would be a great aid to the Prussian 
treasury. It might be argued that we would be benefited 
by lower prices on Baltic products shipped to America. As a 
matter of fact this would not be so as all the Baltic countries 
levied an export duty as high as the trade would bear. The 
removal of the Sound Dues would give them a chance to 
raise the export duties and we would have gained nothing. 
He also showed that according to international law Denmark 
had a well established right to collect the dues. ''To suppose 
that Denmark would quietly submit to having its ancient 
right treated as a wrong, merely because the Cabinet at 
Washington declares it to be such — would be an insult to 
that small but respectable nation. "^° 

39 Thomas H. Benton, Thirty Years View, Vol. II, p. 365. 

*o Hugh F. McDermott, Letters on the Sound-Dues-Question, by Pax, 



Perhaps a more significant statement in regard to this 
subject was made by Secretary Upshur, when in 1843 he 
suggested that Denmark "renders no service in consideration 
of that tax and has not even such right as the power to 
enforce it would give.*^ 

When Denmark was informed by Henry Bedinger that 
we had decided to terminate the treaty of 1826, she realized 
that she would have to take definite action. In October, 
1855, she sent a circular note to the powers inviting them 
to send delegates to a congress to meet in Copenhagen the 
following month, for the purpose of discussing the problem 
of the Sound Dues. The note stated that the time was un- 
favorable for a settlement of the question, but on account of 
the action taken by the United States, it was necessary for 
the powers to come to some agreement on the subject. 
Denmark wished to submit a proposition the plan of which 
she hoped would be favored by the various nations inter- 
ested, and especially by the United States.*^ 

Bedinger wrote to Marcy for instruction in the matter. 
Marcy put the matter before the President and it was de- 
cided — and Bedinger so informed — not to take part in the 
proposed congress for the following reasons: First, based 
on the hypothesis that Denmark had the right to collect the 
Sound Dues, the congress would assemble to arrange for 
their capitalization. The United States were unwilling to take 
part in such an arrangement, because they denied the basic 
hypothesis. Second, the American government wished to 
vindicate the principle that the sea was free to all. If Den- 
mark could collect dues at the Sound, so could others at 
Gibraltar, Messina, the Dardanelles, and other places. Third, 
the United States did not wish to become a party to the 
settlement of the balance of power in Europe. The govern- 
ment understood from the invitation that the Sound Dues 
would be discussed from that angle. Finally, the question 
would not be "considered as one of commerce or money, 
but as a political one. This would be in accordance with 

« F. Hessenland, Le Droit du Sund, p. 5. 

*2 Executive Documents, 34 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. I, Doc. 1, pp. 33-38; 

New York Tribune, November 16, 1855. 


the history of the Sound Dues, and with the part which they 
have performed in the politics of the north of Euroi>e." The 
American government insisted that our international rights 
should not be restricted by or sacrificed to European ex- 
pediency. The United States, however, would not be un- 
'willing to pay her share of the expenses in the upkeep of 
lights, improvements and protection of the Sounds and, in 
fact, would be very liberal in compensating Denmark for 
such outlays. America would, on the other hand, absolutely 
refuse to pay anything for the use of the free waters of the 

Although the United States refused to take part, the 
proposed congress met in Copenhagen.** Because of the short 
time which had been given to prepare for the sending of 
delegates, the congress did not meet, as originally in- 
tended, in November 1855. The first session was held on 
January 4, 1856. It was called to order by Count Bluhme, 
formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs but now Director of 
the Bureau of Sound Dues. He was assisted by Count 
Sponneck, Director-General of Tariff. Representatives were 
present from Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Hol- 
land, Oldenburg, Prussia, Russia, Spain and Sweden. It was 
shown in this session that the dues naturally fell into two 
classes: first, those levied on merchandise according to the 
tariff schedules of 1841 and 1846 ; second, those levied on 
shipping. The second class was again divided into "light 
dues" and "expedition dues." The first of these were used 
for the upkeep of lighthouses and buoys, the second to de- 
fray the expenses of the custom-house. The Danish govern- 
ment did not claim any compensation for the "expedition 
dues," as the custom-house would not be needed if the dues 
were abolished. 

The Danish commissioner placed before the conference 
tables compiled from the books of the custom-house, showing 

<3 Executive Dooum^nts, 34 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. I, Doc. pp. 38-41. 
44 For the report of the British Ambassador, Andrew Buchanan to his 
government, see G. Fr. de Martens, op. dt., Vol. XVI, Pt. II, pp 331- 
337, For the Danish report, see "Aflfisning af Sund og Belttolden," 
Historisk Tidsskrift, 1858-1859, 3dje Esekke, Vol. I, pp. 455-559. 


that according to the income from the dues in the years 
1851, 1852, 1853, Denmark should receive 60,913,225 rixdollars, 
basing the redemption "at 4 per cent, or 25 years' purchase." 
When some of the delegates ventured to state that this 
amount was exorbitant, the commissioners explained that, 
in putting those figures before the conference, they were 
not making a proposal but merely stating facts, which might 
be used as a basis of negotiation. 

The next meeting of the conference was held on February 
2, 1856. On this occasion Count Bluhme presented figures 
to show that the average annual receipts on merchandise 
during the years 1842 to 1847 and 1851 to 1853, inclusive, 
amounted to 2,098,561 rixdollars. The years 1848 to 1850 
were omitted as the figures for those years were inaccurate 
on account of the war with Prussia. The amounts collected 
annually during those same years on shipping as "light 
dues" averaged 150,018 rixdollars. This sum if redeemed at 
4 per cent, or 25 years' purchase, would amount to 56,214,- 
475 rixdollars. The Danish government, having given the 
question careful consideration, had authorized its repre- 
sentative to state that it would be willing to accept the STim 
of 35,000,000 rixdollars as a compensation for the total 
abolition of the Sound Dues. 

The quota to be paid by each nation was worked out in 
the following manner. The amount of dues collected from 
each nation on its ships passing the Sound for Baltic ports, 
during the years mentioned in Bluhme 's reports, was aver- 
aged with the amount collected from the same nation on 
ships going in the opposite direction. The annual sum was 
then multiplied by twenty-five. This as stated above equaled 
56,214,475 rixdollars. As Denmark offered to settle for 
35,000,000 rixdollars the amount to be paid would be equal 
to 62.27 per cent of the original sum demanded. The following 
table is worked out from the final treaty, Buchanan's re- 
port, and the Danish government's report. 


Payments by the Leasing Nations foe the Abolition of the 
Sound Dues 


o in 
o3 08 S 

> S a 


03 CO 

M Q^ V 

(3 03 eu 

. *^ 

l-H <» "S 

OS . .S 

o a a 'S 

--3 .2 o '3 

CO +i • ri & 
S 03 ta 


® fe o 
« P o 

o^ in 



Bremen „ 


Great Britain 


Hanover ._ 









Nations which did 
not take part in the 
congress but later 
paid their share 
The Baltic in General. 

Spain _ 

United States 

Denmark's own share. 




















































This amounted to almost 96 per cent of the whole. The rest was paid 
by smaller nations, but it appears that no reports were published of 
what each of these paid. 

Russia, Oldenburg and Sweden were the first to notify 
Denmark of their intention to accept their quotas as a fair 
and equitable settlement. Their representatives signed an 
agreement recording their acceptance, subject to the con- 
dition that the same terms should be accepted by the other 

Two new problems now appeared. The question arose 
** whether the transit dues on routes between the North-Sea 
or the Elbe and the Baltic ought not to be reduced or 
abolished simultaneously with the Sound dues," as these 
were also under the control of Denmark. The other prob- 


lem arose in England where the government was of the 
opinion that Parliament would object to pay money out of 
the treasury to relieve burdens of a special trade/" After 
further consideration England expressed her willingness to 
pay a stipulated sum once for all, provided Denmark in the 
future would abolish all dues for the upkeep of the sound and 
reduce the transit dues in the duchies. Denmark agreed to 

While the negotiations were going on between Great 
Britain and Denmark during the summer of 1856, Prussia 
and France agreed that so important a question as that of 
opening the Baltic to the world ought not to be handled 
by separate treaties but should be embodied in a general 
treaty to be signed by Denmark and the majority of the 
nations interested. As England showed herself in harmony 
with this idea, a draft of a treaty was prepared. Before 
presenting this to Denmark a conference of the delegates 
was held and the draft submitted to discussion. At this 
conference representatives from Hanover, Mecklenburg and 
the Hansa Towns, besides those of states formerly men- 
tioned, were present. The treaty was then presented to the 
Danish government on February 3, 1857. After making a 
few changes, suggested by Denmark, the treaty was signed 
by the members of the congress on March 14, 1857.*® 

The treaty consists of eight articles. The first article con- 
tains the agreement on the part of Denmark to cease collecting 
Sound and Belt Dues of any kind, but the Danish gov- 
ernment retains the right to make suitable arrangements 
with powers that have not taken part in the present 
convention. In Article II, Denmark promises to keep up 
the light-houses, buoys and other improvements for facili- 
tating the navigation in the Sounds, the Belts, and the 
Cattegat. Foreign vessels shall not be forced to use Danish 
pilots in those waters, but in case they desire to use 

*5 Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, Vol. CXLI, pp. 180-181; Ibid., 

Vol. CXLIV, pp. 2400-2404; New York Tribune, August 12, 1856. For 

an explanation of the money used, see Appendix F. 

*• For full text of the treaty, see Martens, op. cit., Vol. XVI, Pt. II, pp. 



them, the fees shall be the same as those paid by Dan- 
ish vessels. The transit dues between the North Sea and 
the Baltic shall be limited to 16 skilling, Danish currency, 
for each 500 pounds, Danish weight. According to Article 
III, the treaty was to take effect April 1, 1857. Under 
Article IV, the contracting parties agreed to pay to Dan- 
mark the sum of 30,476,325 rixdollars, each party being re- 
sponsible for its own share.*^ Article V provided that the 
specified amounts should be paid in forty semi-annual pay- 
ments. Article VI authorized Denmark to make a special 
treaty with each nation for the mode of payment, the rate 
of exchange, and the place of payment. According to Article 
VII, the treaty is subject to ratification in accordance with 
the rules and formalities established in the various states 
of the contracting parties. By Article VIII, the exchange 
of ratifications should take place at Copenhagen April 1, 1857, 
or as soon as possible after that date. 

In accordance with this treaty, Denmark made treaties 
with the various nations interested in the navigation of the 
Sound.*** It is evident from the amount received by the 
Danish government that she was paid not only for the up- 
keep of improvement in the Sound and Belts, but also for 
the surrender of her right to collect dues. The dues paid 
for lights, buoys, etc., known as droits de fanal, constituted 
less than six per cent of the annual amounts paid.*® Denmark 
has used the money she received from the various powers to 
establish a fund, the proceeds of which is used for the upkeep 
of improvements in the Sound and Belts. This made the 
powers more willing to pay as they did not and could not 
expect a small nation at her own expense to keep the straits 
improved for the benefit of the wealthy commercial interests 
of other countries. At the same time it was a wise act for 
Denmark to remove the problem entirely by accepting a cash 

*7 For the share of each of the contracting parties, see the table 
given above. 

48 For the text of these treaties, see Martens, op. cit.. Vol. XVI, Pt. I 

and Vol. XVII, Pt. II, passim. 

*9 Martens, op. oit., Vol. XVI, Pt. II, p. 344. 


payment. Sooner or later she might have lost the Sound Dues 
without any reimbursement.'" 

"When it became evident that the European powers were 
willing to pay large sums to Denmark to abolish the Sound 
Dues, the United States decided to pay her share. On April 
15, 1857, a treaty was concluded between Lewis Cass, Sec- 
retary of State under James Buchanan, and Torben Bille, the 
Danish representative at Washington. We do not know the 
nature of the negotiations that preceded this treaty, as this 
diplomatic correspondence has not been published. Marcy, as 
stated above, had declared that the United States would not 
pay any money to Denmark for ceasing to collect the dues. 
Perhaps the fact that a new man was at the head of our 
foreign affairs made it easier for Torben Bille to negotiate 
the treaty. 

The treaty is very short, and agrees in general with the 
treaty of March 14, 1857, between Denmark and the powers 
represented at the Copenhagen congress. It contains the fol- 
lowing points : Article I : the abolition of Sound Dues on 
American vessels was recognized by the Danish government; 
.'^rticle II: Denmark agreed to keep up the improvements of 
the Sound and Belts as in the past, and if the increasing 
traffic in the Sound should require additional improvements, 
Denmark agreed to make them without cost to the United 
States; Article III: the United States agreed to pay $393,011 
or 717,829 rixdoUars, to Denmark on the day when the con- 
vention went into effect; Article IV: the United States was 
restored to her status of most favored nation; Article V: the 
treaty of 1826, which was abrogated by the United States on 
April 15, 1856, became binding again between the two nations, 
Article V dealing with the Sound Dues excepted; Article VT: 
the convention should take effect as soon as possible but not 
later than twelve months from the date of signing; and Article 
VII: exchange of ratification should take place in Washington 
within ten months.'* 

80 John Steenstrup, op. oit., Vol. VT, Pt. II, pp. 183-184. 

51 For text of the treaty, see W. M, Malloy, Treaties, etc., Vol. I, 

pp. 383; Senate Documents, 35 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. VII, Doc. 28. 


The treaty was proclaimed in effect by the President of the 
United States on January 13, 1858.^^ tj^^ original amount 
and interest equaling a total of $408,731.44 was paid to Den- 
mark according to agreement in 1858.^^ 

2. The Maintenance of American Neutrality. 

Soon after the exchange of the last note connected with the 
Jones claims, a war broke out between Denmark and the 
German Bund. This is known in Danish history as the ' ' Three 
Years' War," or the "First Schleswig-Holstein War," 1848- 
1850. The problem involved in the conflict is of no importance 
to this work, and will therefore not be discussed. In advance 
of the outbreak of the war, Germans had been sent to the 
United States to study naval plans; and American offijcers 
were offered positions in the new navy of the Bund.^* When 
the war broke out this state of affairs could not well continue, 
and the American Secretary of the Navy, William B. Preston, 
wrote on March 19, 1849, to Commodore M. C. Perry that, 
on account of the war existing between Germany and Den- 
mark, he must "abstain from any further participation, 
either by advising or otherwise, in the preparation and equip- 
ment of the Steamship United States, now at New York, re 
cently purchased for the use of the German empire.""* 

Meanwhile the building of this war vessel had come to the 
notice of the Danish representative, Steen Bille, at Washing- 
ton. He appealed to Secretary of State John M. Clayton in 
behalf of the Danish government, asking that work on the 
ship be stopped, as the intention was to use the vessel against 
Denmark. Clayton immediately advised Baron von Roenne, 
the German Minister to the United States, that according to 
the law of April 20, 1818, there was a heavy penalty for 
fitting out a vessel in the United States, if it were to be used 
against a power friendly to us. If the vessel United States 

62 Ihid. 

53 Miscellaneous Doomnents, 35 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. I, Doc. 50; 
Statutes at Large, Vol. XI, p. 261. For the whole subject of the aboli- 
tion of the Sound Dues, see Markus Eubin, * ' Sundtoldens Aflfisning," 
Historisk TidssTcrift. 7de Rsekke, 6te Bind; pp. 172-311. 

54 Senate Documents, 31 Cong., Vol. I, Doc. 1, pp. 21-22. 

55 Ibid., p. 28. 


were to be used against Denmark, we were determined to act 
vigorously in the ease. Roenne's word of honor that the 
ship would not be used would, however, be sufficient for us, 
as we wanted the friendship of Germany as well as of Den- 

In his answer Baron von Roenne stated that he was much 
surprised to learn from the Secretary of State that the vessel 
was ''really" to be used against Denmark. He himself was 
in possession of no such information. So far as he knew, the 
vessel would proceed from New York harbor to Bremerhaven 
and there receive further orders. Besides, he was well aware 
of the existence of the act of 1818 and in order to avoid 
doing anything contrary to law he had consulted a dis- 
tinguished member of the New York bar on the subject. This 
gentleman had informed him that, so far as he had the facts 
in hand, he did not feel that the German government was doing 
anything contrary to law.^' 

Secretary Clayton, however, was not disposed to waste time 
in quibbling and thus give time for the ship to escape. He 
informed Roenne that he was sorry he had not received an 
answer to his request for a formal declaration that the vessel 
would not be used against a power friendly to the United 
States. He also informed the German minister that he had 
secured an opinion from the Attorney-General on the sub- 
ject, which held that, since war existed between Germany and 
Denmark and since the vessel was being fitted out as a war 
vessel, a ship "so armed and fitted, when upon the high 
seas, in a state of war, is false to its flag and honor, if it 
does not "commit hostilities" upon an enemy whenever and 
wherever it meets one." Mr. Clayton therefore hoped that 
Baron von Roenne would give the assurance solicited."* 

After several exchanges of notes, in which the German 
minister tried to avoid the real issue and explain away the 
purpose of the vessel, the Secretary of State finally took the 
stand that, since Roenne avoided making a full and free 

8« Ibid., pp. 49, 32-33. For the Act of 1818, see Statutes at Large, 
Vol. Ill, pp. 447-450. 

" Senate Documents, 31 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. I, Doc. 1, pp. 34-38. 
88 Ibid., pp. 38-40, 


promise that the United States would not be used against 
Denmark, Germany would have to subscribe to the pro- 
visions of the law of April 20, 1818, and give a bond amount- 
ing to twice the value of the vessel, its armament and cargo. 
Before clearing, the vessel would have to be registered as a 
vessel of the German empire.'^^ 

Germany tried to avoid the obligations of the bond by 
changing the name of the vessel to the Horsa, by taking ad- 
vantage of an armistice, and by misconstruing the Act of April 
20, 1818; but to no avail. The United States government — ^to the 
great satisfaction of the Danish authorities — held Germany rig- 
idly to the obligations of the bond. The United States ar- 
rived at Liverpool as a peaceful vessel, but it does not appear 
that she ever took part in the war. Our Minister Niles at 
Turin later stated to the Secretary of State that European 
statesmen with whom he had conversed expressed their appro- 
bation of the stand our government had taken in the case 
of the United States, and that the strict observation of the 
principles of international morality would do much to raise 
the character of the American government in the eyes of 

3. The Rise of the Butterfield Claims. 

While the United States and Denmark were negotiating 
concerning the Sound Dues, a very interesting case arose, 
known in our diplomatic correspondence as the Butterfield 
Claims. The negotiations concerning these claims extended 
over a period of nearly forty years and the matter was finally 
settled by arbitration. 

In September, 1854, the Benjamin Franklin, a steamship 
of 850 tons burden, and the bark Catharine Augusta cleared 
from New York harbor for the island of St. Thomas, one of 
the Danish West Indies. Both vessels were equipped for war 
and the Catharine Augusta carried a cargo of uniforms, mus- 
kets, ammunition and other material of war. It was not fully 
known to whom these ships belonged, but they were in charge 
of a certain John N. Olcott, who executed a letter of at- 

59 Ibid., pp. 48-49. 
80 Ibid., pp. 64-68. 


tomey which authorized Mr. Jos^ Gener of the City of Mex- 
ico to negotiate a sale for them.®^ 

Before the vessels left New York, the Venezuelan consul 
at that port informed the United States government that the 
vessels were being fitted out to assist a rebellion in Venezuela, 
which was being conducted by General Jose A. Paez. An 
affidavit having been sworn out to that effect by the Venezue- 
lan minister, R. Azpurua, the vessels were detained, and a 
suit of libel instituted in the Southern District of New York. 
The prosecutor, however, was unable to sustain its charge; 
hence an order was issued discharging the vessels from custody 
and the libel was dismissed.®^ 

Toward the close of September, 1854, the vessels arrived at 
St. Thomas. The Catharine Augusta had suffered so much 
from rough weather that it was necessary for her to make 
repairs before she could go further. It was found that re- 
pairs could not be made without unloading the cargo. 

Meanwhile Charles Eames, our representative to Venezuela, 
informed Charles J. Hebn, our consul at St. Thomas, of the 
suspicion of the Venezuelan government. Our acting com- 
mercial agent, John E. Ruhl, answered Eames, as Helm was 
absent for the time being. He stated that the vessels had 
already been examined at New York, and that if they had ever 
been intended for an expedition against Venezuela he was 
sure that that intention had now been abandoned. He added 
that the Danish government was aware of the suspicion and 
had refused to allow one of the ships to unload her cargo 
in order to undergo repairs, but he felt that, according to 
existing treaty relations, Denmark could not persist in her 
refusal although she might attach conditions to her permis- 

When Helm returned, the Danish authorities finally gave 
permission to allow the Catharine Augusta to be unloaded. 
Pour conditions, however, were attached to the permission. 

61 Executive Documents, 45 Cong., 3 Sess., Vol. X"VT, Doc. 33, pp. 1, 2. 
«2 Ibid., p. 3; New York Tribune, August 4, 8, 15, September 5, 15, 1854. 
«3 Executive Documents, 45 Cong., 3 Sess., Vol. XVI, Doc. 33, pp. 
3-4; New York Tribune, October 20, 1854; November 21, 1854; De- 
cember 1, 1854. 


First, the unloading must be done under Helm's personal 
supervision. Second, the material unloaded should remain 
in storage until H. H. Berg, the governor of the island, and 
Helm were both satisfied that it had a legitimate destination. 
Third, no breach of the laws of nations or treaty stipulations 
should be permitted. And fourth, a bond of $20,000 was re- 
quired to secure faithful performance of duty. This was 
entered into voluntarily by the people controlling the vessels.** 

While the Catherine Augusta was being repaired, the Ben- 
jamin Franklin was idle in the port. As the British steamer, 
Parana from Southampton was late in arriving at St. Thomas 
and the various windward and leeward bound mail steamers 
had left, J. B. Cameron, the agent for the British Royal Mail 
Steam Packet Co., chartered the Benjamin Franklin to carry 
the newly arrived passengers and mail to the Windward Is- 
lands and Barbadoes. The vessels of the Royal Mail Steam 
Packet Co. had the privilege at any time to enter or leave the 
St. Thomas harbor without notification. When the Benjamin 
Franklin had cleared, it sailed out of the harbor after sunset 
on December 21, 1854. As it passed Fort Frederick, the 
commander of the fort, Major Castonier, fired on the vessel. 
He claimed later that he had no official notice that the vessel 
was to be allowed to leave. According to his orders therefore, 
he fired a blank shot fore and aft. As the vessel did not 
stop he lodged a shot in the hulk. Fortunately no one was 
harmed. The vessel did not turn till the fourth shot was 

This affair created quite a stir. The shot which was lodged 
in the hulk of the vessel came very near harming several 
individuals. From the correspondence it seems that Major 
Castonier knew that the Benjamin Franklin was to leave but 
he had been informed that the vessel would "be cleared as 
usual by the consignees." The fact that he knew of the sus- 
picion attached to the vessel, and that the clearance was not 
reported to him by the captain of the vessel nor by the 
company officials, made him think that she was sneaking out 
of the harbor unlawfully. According to report, the sequel 

8* Executive Documents, 45 Cong., 3 Sess., Vol. XVI, Doc. 33, p. 5. 
«5 Ibid., pp. 7-9, 24, 29. 


was that JMajor Castonier was court-martialed, reduced in rank 
and transferred to St. Croix, The truth is that the commander 
and Governor Berg did not agree very well, and this was 
the cause of his transfer. The Benjamin Franklin proceeded 
on her journey as soon as she was repaired.®' 

Meanwhile the repairs of the Catharine Augusta were com- 
pleted and Jose Gener succeeded in selling the two vessels 
and the cargo to the Mexican government through the firm 
Cammet and Co. The vessels were to be delivered to any 
port in the Gulf of Mexico demanded by the buyers; and 
the price was fixed at $500,000 cash. "When, however, the 
Mexican government learned of the suspicion in regard to 
the original destination of the vessels, the offer was withdrawn 
in order to avoid complications with Venezuela.®^ Somewhat 
later Jose Gener succeeded in selling the vessels directly to 
the Mexican government but at a very reduced price.^* 

On May 7, 1855, J. T. Pickett, our consul at Vera Cruz, 
having received authority from John N. Olcott, asked the 
Danish authorities at St. Thomas for the delivery of the cargo. 
Governor Berg replied that the papers presented were alto- 
gether too general in their nature to prove that the pro- 
visions under which the cargo had been unloaded would be 
fulfilled. Besides, the bond for $20,000 given by Moron and 
Company would still be binding until the cargo arrived at 
San Bias, Mexico,*® which was its final destination as stated 
by Pickett. Indeed, the Danish government would demand 
proof of the arrival of the cargo at the said port before the 
bond could be released. Taking advantage of a clause in the 
bond which stated that duty would be paid on the cargo "in 
the event of its being exported for the account of others but 
the original owners," the authorities claimed that, since the 
Mexican government was now the owner of the cargo, duty 
should be paid. The owners, on the contrary, claimed that 
the Mexican government would not become the owner until 

«« rbid., pp. 25, 27; New York Tribune, January 12, 1855; May 1, 


«7 Executive Documents, 45 Cong., 3 Sess., Vol. XVI, Doc. 33, pp. 13-14. 

«8 Hid., p. 16, 53-54. 

•» San Bias is on the Pacific coast in the district of Tepic. 


the cargo was delivered at San Bias. After some delay the 
proper documents were produced. It appears that the author- 
ities waived the claim for duty. 

Clearance was given to the two ships on May 26, 1855.^° The 
Benjamin Franklin, it was claimed, was so badly damaged by 
the shot fired at her that she had to be taken to Norfolk, 
•Va., for partial repairs and later to Baltimore where the 
repairs were completed. From this place the vessel was 
cleared for Vera Cruz where she arrived in January, 1856. 
The contract of sale had been changed to allow this. The 
CatJiarine Augusta started on her long journey around Cape 
Horn for San Bias. Being badly worm-eaten because of her 
stay at St. Thomas and encountering bad weather and rough 
seas, she was forced to lay in at Pernambuco, Brazil, for 
repairs. The contract of sale having been changed in her 
case also, she arrived at Vera Cruz in June, 1856,'^^ 

The owners of the vessels felt that their property had 
been damaged by reason of the action of the Danish author- 
ities in St. Thomas. They held Denmark responsible for their 
losses for the following reasons: the firing of the shot at the 
Benjamin Franklin; the unsuccessful transaction through 
Cammet & Co., caused by the suspicion of the Danish author- 
ities; the loss on their capital by the delay in releasing the 
cargo of the Catharine Augusta; and the worm-eaten condi- 
tion of the same ship caused by its detention. In October, 
1857, a claim was prepared including the following items: 

Value of the two vessels and the cargo $500,000 

Actually received in cash - ^ $315,000 

Loss through reduced sale price and de- 
preciated Mexican certificates — — . $185,000 

Interest at 12 per cent on $185,000 Sept. 1, 

1855 to September 1, 1857 44,400 

Repairs, interest, traveling expenses, translation 
fees, documents, etc., having their origin in 
the acts of the Danish authorities 72,814.08 

Total _ 301,814.08 

TO Ibid., pp. 63-64. 
Ti Ibid., p. 64. 


Interest on this amount from September 1, 1857, to the date 
of final pajTnent of the claim was to be added to this sum/'' 
On June 20, 1860, this bill with claim for payment was 
laid before Mr. Hall, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
by James M. Buchanan, our representative at Copenhagen. 
Two months later a reply was received in which the Danish 
government claimed it was not liable for damages because 
the authorities at St. Thomas in delaying the vessels had 
done nothing more than their duty.^^ As the settlement of 
this case will be treated in a later chapter. Hall's reply will 
be treated there. 

72 Ibid., pp. 53-54, 64. The bill is abreviated from the original. 
18 Ibid., pp. 56-59. 


THE CIVIL WAR, 1860-1872 

Most of the incidents treated in this chapter had their origin 
either directly or indirectly in the Civil War. It is pleasant 
to relate that during the trying days of this war Denmark 
stood as a firm and never swerving friend of the Union gov- 
ernment. The Danish government was one of the few which 
did not want to see the United States di\'ided. 

1. Negotiations Concerning the Confederacy. 

In her diplomatic relations with foreign powers, the United 
States had two definite problems that sprang directly from 
secession. The more prominent of these was the need to pre- 
vent the Confederacy from obtaining aid in European coun- 
tries. The other problem was to forestall the recognition of 
the independence of the Confederacy. 

It was natural that the South should attempt to secure aid 
from foreign powers. This was foreseen at Washington. 
Even before the first battle of Bull Run, Secretary of State 
Seward wrote to Bradford R. Wood, our representative at 
Copenhagen, warning him to cambat any movement that 
might be made by the Confederacy to obtain aid from Den- 
mark. As a result. Wood sounded the Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, M. Hall, concerning his attitude towards the re- 
bellion. Hall's answer was definite and clear. He was decid- 
edly in favor of the Union in its struggle against the rebellion. 
He even went a step further and despatched a man-of-war 
to the Danish West Indies for the purpose of preventing 
privateering and illicit trade and of preserving neutrality.' 

From time to time Confederate emissaries visited Copen- 
hagen for the purpose of obtaining aid and recognition, but 
the Danish authorities refused to receive them as govern- 
mental representatives. Dudley Mann, who was sent to Copen- 
hagen by the Confederacy, finally succeeded in getting a pri- 

1 Foreign delations of the United States, 1861-1862, Pt. I, pp. 311-314. 



vate interview with Hall. He attempted to prove that the 
Union strength was giving way, as was shown by the fact 
that gold was much higher in the North than in the South. 
He hoped that Denmark would not be the last nation to 
recognize the independence of his government. Hall replied 
that other sources of information convinced him that the 
success of the Confederacy was by no means sure. In regard 
to the question of recognizing the independence of the South 
he stated, "that though Denmark might not be the last to do 
this, she certainly would not be the first.'"* 

In spite of this attitude, rumor reached the United States 
that Denmark had recognized the independence of the Con- 
federacy. Wood was instructed to request the Danish officials 
to revise the decree in which this action had been taken.'' Upon 
investigation it was learned that the rumor was untrue. In 
1865 when Bluhme became Minister of Foreign Affairs in 
Denmark he stated to Wood "that the government of the 
King has never recognized the so-called Confederate States as 
a belligerent party."* 

When the Second Schleswig-Holstein War broke out in 
1863, the United States showed its good will towards Den- 
mark by strictly enforcing her neutrality laws, so that the 
German powers received no aid from America. The war, 
however, threatened the traffic between New York and the 
ports of northwestern Germany, especially Bremen and Ham- 
burg. Seward requested Denmark to allow this traffic to 
continue as it was very valuable to us, "more so now than 
heretofore, owing to the embarrassment of our commerce." 
He wanted Denmark clearly to understand that it was not 
a demand but that, if the Danish government would make 
the concession and allow the steamers to continue to ply be- 
tween the two points, we would consider it "as a gratifying 
evidence of the friendship and good will of Denmark."'^ From 
the later correspondence it does not appear directly what 

2 Foreign Belations of the United States, 1862, p. 780. 

8 Ibid., p. 778. 

* Foreign Belations of the United States, 1865-1866, Pt. Ill, p. 179. 

8 Ibid., 1864-1865, Pt. IV, pp. 342-343. 


answer was given to this request; but it seems that Wood 
must have made satisfactory arrangements, for Seward in one 
of his dispatches included the following sentence: "Your pro- 
ceedings in regard to the Bremen steamers are approved."* 

It was the practice of Captain Charles Wilkes, made famous 
by the \Tr&nt affair, to sail into neutral ports and watch 
neutral vessels. If he suspected that a vessel was carrying on 
illicit trade, he would follow her and capture her as soon as 
she was out of territorial waters. This occurred most fre- 
quently at St. Thomas. In June, 1863, Denmark com- 
plained that Wilkes misused her friendly hospitality and asked 
that the practice be stopped. As a result an order was is- 
sued to the Navy Department in July by President Lincoln, 
and since complaints ceased thereafter, it may be concluded 
that the order was obeyed.^ 

2. The Case of the Jiirgen Lorentzen. 

The friendly attitude of the two powers towards each other 
during the Civil War period was well exemplified in two 
maritime cases which arose. The first of these was connected 
with the bark Jiirgen Lorentzen of Aabenraa. On December 
26, 1861, this vessel with a cargo of coffee and under the 
command of Captain T. W. Eeimer was on its way from Rio 
de Janeiro to Havana, Cuba, where it was to receive further 
orders. At eleven o'clock in the forenoon she met the United 
States warship Morning Light in 7° N. Lat. 38° 30' W. Long, 
a location almost due north of Ceara, Brazil. Lieutenant 
H. T. Moore, who commanded the American vessel, demanded 
the papers of the Jiirgen Lorentzen. As these stated that she 

« Ibid., p. 344. The friendly relations that existed between the two 
nations was perhaps augmented by President Lincoln, when in the fall 
of 1862 he sent a pair of Colt's pistols to the Danish King. ' His 
Majesty was very much pleased and expressed freely his hope that the 
Union would be preserved. Eef erring to this gift B. E. Wood stated: 
"I think the Danish officials appreciate vpry highly this kindness on 
the part of the President; for, whatever may be their opinion as to 
the possibility of preserving the Union, they, unlike some others, do 
not wish its destruction." Foreign Belations of the United States, 
1863, Pt. II, pp. 1188-1189. 

7 The Diary of Gideon Welles, 1861-1869, Vol. I, pp. 322, 325, 451-452. 


might go to New Orleans or to New York and as he did not 
examine the ship's register nor the papers proving her na- 
tionality, he took it for granted that she was on an unlawful 
journey to a Southern city. He put Lieutenant P. Giraud 
and several other Americans on board the vessel and ordered 
them to take the ship to New York. He put seven of the 
Danish crew on board his own vessel and forced them to serve 
as a part of his crew. Captain Reimer claimed he was badly 
treated by the captors. 

The Danish representative at Washington, General W. R. 
Raasloff, brought the matter to the attention of our govern- 
ment and asked for an investigation. The Secretaries, Wil- 
liam H. Seward and Gideon Welles, did all in their power 
to uncover the facts and found that the allegations were 
largely true. Lieutenants Giraud and Moore excused them- 
selves by stating that some of the complaints were not well 
founded, and that others, though well founded, were the 
result of inexperience and zeal to serve their country. Mt>ore 
requested that, if his explanation were not satisfactory, he 
might be ordered to go to Washington for a full investigation. 

The American authorities, however, did not wish to prolong 
the discussions. Seeing that Denmark should not be made 
to suffer for the inexperience of our men, they offered to 
settle the matter by arbitration. As the case was largely 
a question in regard to facts and involved no vital point 
of international law or honor. General Raasloff accepted the 
offer in behalf of the injured party. A commission of two 
men was to be appointed and both sides agreed to abide by 
its decision. William H. Seward appointed Moses Taylor of 
New York and General Raasloff appointed H. Dollner, the 
Danish consul at New York. After a thorough investigation 
they agreed on a statement of damages covering eleven 
points and amounting to $1,850. The original amount claimed 
was $2,646.57. The master of the Jurgen Lorentzen waived 
all claims for damages on his own part.* On March 14, 1862, 
President Lincoln transmitted to Congress a copy of the 
correspondence and the findings of the commission. He 

8 Bouse Executive Documenta, 37 Cong., 2 Sesa., Vol. V, Pt. n, Doc 
78, pp. 1-9. 


recommended that an appropriation be made for the amount 
awarded by the referees.® Congress followed the President's 
advice and the case was thus settled without bad feelings.^" 

3. The Case of the Stonewall. 

The second maritime case that arose during the Civil War 
concerned a Confederate cruiser. In the latter part of the 
year 1864 it came to the notice of our representatives in 
Denmark, Consul George P. Hansen at Elsinore and Minister 
Bradford R. Wood at Copenhagen, that an ''iron-clad, brig- 
rigged, steam ram" had come to Copenhagen from Bordeaux, 
France, where it had been built by the firm Arman. The ship 
bore the name Stcerkodder, and it had arrived under the 
French flag without guns. The armament arrived later in a 
British vessel. Soon after the vessel's arrival her French 
crew Avas discharged, and the vessel remained in the harbor 
till January, 1865. At this time either De Reviere, the agent 
of Arman, or Puggard, a Danish merchant to whom she was 
consigned, applied for permission to secure a Danish crew 
to sail her back to Bordeaux under the Danish flag. 

Since the Danish government, which had originally or- 
dered the ship built, had refused to accept the vessel on the 
ground of non-compliance with construction regulations, this 
permission was given. She sailed into the Cattegat, but re- 
turned soon after for some cause or other and landed De 
Reviere. She later put into Christiansand, Norway, to take 
in coal, the money for which had been furnished by De 
Reviere. She proceeded to the coast of Holland, where she took 
on board De Reviere and ''another man" and sailed for 
Quiberon Bay where she anchored in French waters. The 
Danish captain and crew were now informed that the ship 
had been sold, after which they departed taking the Danish 
flag with them. The vessel, which at various times was known 
as the Sphinx, the Stcerkodder, the Olinde, and the Stonewall, 
received coal from a French collier, and ammunition and a 
crew from an English vessel. She then unfurled the Con- 

J. D. Richardson, op. cit., Vol. VI, p. 70. 

10 House Journal, 37 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 459, 498, 524, 525, 568, 600, 
606, 618, 635; Senate Journal, 37 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 339, 357, 419, 
421, 429; Statutes at Large, Vol. XII, pp. 902. 


federate flag. The crew which came on board was the old 
crew of the Florida}^ Captain V. P. Page became her master.^* 
As it looked on the surface, Denmark had been guilty of 
selling a vessel to the Confederate States. The general opinion 
was that she had ordered the vessel while her war with 
Prussia and Austria was going on; being poverty stricken at 
the end of the disastrous conflict, she had taken the opportun- 
ity to sell a piece of property worthless to her. In that case 
she was guilty of a very unfriendly act and ought to be 
held responsible for the results.^^ The Danish government, 
however, put up a very strong case for its innocence in the 
matter. In a communication from Minister Bluhme to B. R. 
Wood in March, 1865, the following facts were set forth to 
justify Denmark's conduct in the case: First, the vessel, 
which was already in the process of building, had been con- 
tracted for by the Danish government in March, 1864, on 
the condition that she should be finished by June 10. The 
work of completing her was to be under the control of a 
Danish naval officer and according to certain specifications. 
Second, Schonheyder, who was the officer appointed to super- 
vise the work, refused to accept the vessel because she was 
not constructed according to contract. Third, Arman, hoping 
that the Danish government might accept the vessel in spite 
of Shonheyder's action, sent the vessel from Bordeaux to 
Copenhagen at his own risk. For the sake of saving expense 
the French captain and crew had been dismissed immediately 
upon arrival. Fourth, the Danish naval authorities having 
inspected the vessel refused to accept her, and consequently 
the contract was annulled. Fifth, since the vessel must now 
be returned to Bordeaux, permission was given to allow Arman 
to secure a Danish captain and crew." In view of all these 

11 Foreign Relations of the United States, 1865-1866, Pt. II, p. 220; 
Pt. Ill, pp. 166-173. 

12 Ibid., Pt. II, p. 216. 

13 For this view, see J. T. Scharf, History of the Confederate States 
Navy, pp. 804-806; David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil 
War, pp. 823-827. 

!•» French law prohibited a vessel from sailing under French flag, unless 


circumstances, the Danish government was "entirely un- 
connected" with the transfer of the vessel as she had never 
been Danish property.^^ 

In a later communication from Bluhme it was declared 
•that, if any Danish citizen should in any way break the laws 
of neutrality, very heavy punishment would be meted out to 
him upon his conviction. While several investigations were 
held, it does not appear that anyone was punished.^® 

It is well established that, during the early part of the 
Civil War, Napoleon III of France did not object to the 
building of Confederate cruisers in French ports. Conse- 
quently the Confederates ordered six very powerful ships 
to be built by French firms. One of these was the Sphinx. 
Together with its sister ship Cheops it was being built at 
Bordeaux by Arman. A little later, while these ships were 
being constructed, Napoleon realized that it was bad for his 
Mexican policy to allow such action; hence he ordered the 
discontinuance of further building. It was therefore neces- 
sary for the firm Arman to sell them to some neutral power. 
As a result of this the Sphinx was sold to Denmark. This 
agrees with Bluhme 's statement that when the Danish gov- 
ernment ordered the vessel to be built it was already under 

What happened at this juncture it is difficult to learn. 
Denmark certainly wanted the ship in the early part of 1864 
as she was then at war. Perhaps Arman found that the time 
was too short and so hurried the work too much. This may 
have resulted in poor construction, which was the pretext 
for Denmark's refusal to accept the vessel. Another prob- 
ability exists. The Confederate agents may have bribed the 
firm to deviate from the specifications of the Danish contract 
so that the vessel would not be acceptable to that govern- 
ment. At any rate Arman had been informed by Shonheyder 
that the Danish government would not accept the vessel. The 

at least two-thirds of the crew were French. Foreign Belations of the 

United States, 1865-1866, Pt. Ill, p. 168. 

15 For text of the letter, see ibid., pp. 173-174. 

18 Ibid., pp. 174, 175, 176, 178. 


trip to Copenhagen was without any doubt planned to evade 
the French laws and get the vessel away from Bordeaux. 
This is proved by the fact that the Stcerkodder had 180 tons 
of coal on board when she left Bordeaux, an amount about 
twice as great as was needed for a trip to Copenhagen and 
return. Besides, she put in at Cherbourg on her way north 
and took on more coal. If Arman honestly hoped to get the 
Danish government to accept the ram, why should he have been 
so anxious to fill her bunkers with coal?^^ 

It seems clear that the responsibility for the escape of the 
Stonewall rests with the firm Arman. His agent, Amous de la 
Reviere was a contract broker for the Confederate govern- 
ment. This gentleman was angry with the Union government 
because when he offered to make guns for the United States 
he had been refused.^ He had no right to clear the vessel 
at Copenhagen for Bordeaux and fail to complete the voyage. 
It would devolve on the French government to punish the 
perpetrators if the Stonewall should commit any act detri- 
mental to the United States. France would be responsible to 
the United States for whatever might happen, as England was 
forced to be for the acts of the Alabama and others. 

The Stonewall proceeded into Spanish waters and later 
crossed the Atlantic. When the war ended the Confederacy 
surrendered her to the Spanish government of Cuba, which 
delivered her to the United States. Later she was sold to 
Japan. As she never succeeded in doing any harm it does 
not appear that Arman or his agent was punished.^® 

4. The Question of Allegiance. 

One of the great measures passed by Congress during the 
Civil War was the law popularly known as the Homestead 
Act. The fact that a man could secure a large tract of land 
simply by settling on it caught the fancy of thousands of 

IT Ibid., Pt. n, pp. 213-219. John Bigelow, who was United States 
Minister to France in 1865, has given a very fine account of this 
aflFair in his book France and the Confederate Navy, pp. 57-103. He 
ezonorates Denmark, 

" Foreign Belations ot the United States, 1865-1866, Pt. H, pp. 211-212; 
Pt. m, p. 166. 

i» John Bigelow, op. eft., pp. 81-108. 


people in Denmark. The man who in that country labored a 
life time and through hard toil and prudent management was 
able to become the possessor of a few acres had reasons 
for feeling proud at the end of his life's journey. Wliat a 
contrast to the American conditions under which 160 acres 
might be had almost for the asking! The Dane is proverbially 
a farmer, but before the Civil War comparatively few Danes 
had migrated to the United States. The opening up of the 
Mississippi valley, coupled with the fact that title to land 
could be secured easily, caused the Danish population in the 
United States to increase from 9,962 to 35,431 between 1860 
and 1870.20 

The Danes in America did not forget to inform their rel- 
atives in the old country of the wonderful opportunities 
that existed h^re. In a circular letter sent by a Danish 
Baptist church in Wisconsin, June 10, 1862, to the Baptist 
churches in Denmark is found the following extract. "As 
far as our earthly conditions are concerned we must say that 
they are very good. The land is rich and produces an 
abundance of all things, so that the cost of living is low .... 
The government is also very good and has recently passed 
a law by which each man can get 160 acres of land if 
he will settle on it. This law will be a great boon to a large 
number of our younger men, who have decided to go out 
together and each get a piece of land, if the Lord wills it."^^ 
The influence of letters of this type is shown abundantly in 
the large Danish settlements in the Mississippi valley. 

The increased number of immigrants raised the problem of 
naturalization and allegiance. It is a well-known fact that 
England did not recognize expatriation, but she was not the 
only nation which took that stand. Our diplomats abroad 
were constantly appealed to by American citizens of foreign 
birth because, when they returned to the mother countrv for 

20 statistics of the United States, Census 1850, p. XXXVII; Eighth 
Census of the United States, 1860, p. liii; Ninth Census of the United 
States, 1870, p. 338. 

21 The original of this letter was found in Denmark by Rev. August 
Broholm. It is preserved in the archives of the Danish Baptists in 
America, located at Clarke's Grove, Minn. 


a visit, they were pressed into the military service,^* Aroused 
by the situation in Denmark and Germany, George H. Yea- 
man, our representative in Denmark, wrote an extensive 
article in 1867 on the subject: "Allegiance and Citizenship." 
This was sent to Secretary Seward. Yeaman held that there 
were only three reasons why a foreign power might seize a 
man on his return: first, unpaid debt; second, crimes; third, 
escape from military service. The two first were self-evident 
and fair; the third was only fair provided he had left his 
home country to escape the service. If, however he went 
away to establish a home in a foreign country and returned 
only for a short visit, he should be protected by the country 
of his new allegiance. 

General Raasloff, who had been the Danish representative 
at Washington for many years and was now Minister of 
War in Denmark, read Yeaman 's article and agreed with 
it in the main. He suggested, however, that the state de- 
partment of each country should keep a record of each case 
of naturalization, and should notify the foreign office of the 
country from which the subject came whenever naturalization 
was completed. Said Raasloff: "He naturalizes in the United 
States; goes elsewhere and ge^s into trouble; is dealt with 
as an American but claims to be a Dane. The Danish govern- 
ment desiring to discharge its duties of protection would 
yet not wish to be imposed upon. It has no evidence here 
of citizenship,^^ and the man is still prima facie a citizen."" 

General Raasloff 's idea was reported by Yeaman to Seward. 
Seward, however, showed that, while the plan might work in 
Europe it would ,be absolutely impracticable in the United 
States where 250,000 people immigrated every year. He held 
it would not be long before the European countries would 
have to recognize the principle of expatriation. A man had 
**a natural right" to choose his home wherever he pleased. 
The sooner the European states accepted that theory the 
better it would be for everybody concerned.^' 

22 House Executive Documents, 40 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 663-678. 

23 He most likely means naturaliiation. 
** Ibid., p. 683. 

28 Tbid., p. 685. 


During the late sixties the question of allegiance, natural- 
ization, and expatriation took a prominent place in politics. 
The Fenian movement had done its share to bring it before 
the people. In 1868 many of the state party platforms, 
and both of the chief national party platforms contained planks 
on the subject.^^ 

This may serve as the background for the treaty between 
Denmark and the United States which was concluded on July 
20, 1872. This treaty, which was only one out of many ne- 
gotiated by the United States with other countries about the 
same time, covered the whole field of naturalization, re- 
admission to former status, and renunciation of acquired 
status of citizens. It was negotiated by Michael J. Cramer, 
our representative at Copenhagen, and Baron 0. D. Rosenohrn- 
Lehn, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs.^^ 

5. The First Attempt to Purchase the Danish West Indies. 

The three islands known as the Danish West Indies were 
discovered by Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. They 
form the most important part of the group now known as the 
Virgin Islands, and have a total area of 138 square miles. 
The inhabitants are largely negroes and mulattoes, but some 
whites live in the islands, having migrated from Denmark, 
England and the United States. Although the islands be- 
longed to Denmark for a long time, yet the language of the 
inhabitants is English. During the Danish possession, however, 
the official language was Danish. It has already been shown 
that most of the trade of the islands was carried on wifh 
the United States. From the commercial standpoint, there- 
fore, it was not necessary to buy them, as Denmark would 
not allow any other foreign nation to trade there. Most of 

26 Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia, 1868, pp. 545, 548-550, 745, 748. 

27 For the text of the treaty, see "W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc., Vol. I, pp. 
384-386. For treaties with other countries on the same subject, see 
Ibid., pp. 434, 533, 691, 1132, 1758. Although Art. I of the treaty of 
1872 expressly declared that United States citizens naturalized in Den- 
mark should by that act be recognized by our government as citizens 
of Denmark, yet Denmark continued to refuse to naturalize any Ameri- 
can citizen until a certificate of expatriation was received from the 
foreign office at Washington. For this subject, see Foreign Belaiions 
of the United States, 1888, Pt. I, pp. 488-489. 


the trade with the islands was carried on through the harbor 
of St. Thomas, the largest of the group. Its harbor at Char- 
lotte Amalie is one of the finest in the world.^* 

As the Civil War had demonstrated the value of this har- 
bor, the administration became anxious to secure it. In 
January, 1865, when the various foreign representatives made 
their New Year's call at the Executive Mansion, President 
Lincoln paid special attention to General Raasloff, the Dan- 
ish Minister. This gentleman was especially well liked at 
Washington because of his outspoken sympathy with the Union 
eause.^® On January 7, 1865, a dinner party was held at 
the residence of M. de Geoffroy, charge d'affaires of France. 
It happened that William H. Seward and General Raasloff 
arrived about half an hour early and found themselves in a 
drawing-room almost alone. The Secretary of State seized the 
opportunity and broached the subject of purchasing the 
Danish islands. The General was personally unfavorable to 
such action and declared that the islanders were content under 
their present sovereignty. He promised, however, to report 
the matter to his government.^" On April 12, he reported to 
Seward that he had heard from Copenhagen in regard to the 
subject of the Danish West Indies and it was his duty to 
inform the American government that Denmark did not care 
"much" to sell the islands.^^ 

The assassination of President Lincoln and the attempt on 
Seward's life delayed further consideration of the subject for 
some time. On December 29, 1865, General Raasloff informed 
Seward that Denmark was now more favorable toward the 
subject of selling the islands and he was instructed to find out 
what the United States would be willing to pay for them. 
The financial embarrassment in which Denmark found herself 
after the Prussian attack and the loss of the duchies in 1864 
tempted her to sell her West India possessions.^^ 

28 Congressional Record, 64 Cong., 2 Sess., Vol. LIV, Pt. IV, pp. 3647- 

29 James Parton, The Danish Islands, p. 7. 

80 Ibid. 

81 Ibid., p. 10. 


Seward was somewhat taken, with surprise and was unable 
to say just how much the United States would pay for the 
islands; but after a cruise to the West Indies in the spring 
of 1866 during which time he visited and inspected the islands, 
he made an offer of $5,000,000 to General Raasloff. This offer 
was made on July 17, 1866. Denmark refused and informed 
our government that it might not even be possible to sell one 
of the islands, St. Croix, as France might object on the 
ground that the treaty by which she ceded the island to Den- 
mark in 1733 had stipulated that Denmark should not sell 
it to another country. Thus the matter was undecided till 
January, 1867, when Seward pressed the matter, through our 
representative in Copenhagen, for a final conclusion. Finally, 
in May of that year. Count Frijs, the Danish Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, made a counter-proposition in which he offered 
the three islands, St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, to the 
United States for $15,000,000. This offer, however, was subject 
to ratification by the Danish Rigsdag and to the consent of the 
inhabitants of the islands expressed by a plebiscite. 

Seward answered by offering $7,500,000, but he objected to 
the plebiscite, stating that it was unnecessary. If any of the 
inhabitants were dissatisfied they would be given the oppor- 
tunity to leave the islands within two years. This offer was 
refused; and Denmark made a new offer of $11,250,000 or 
20,000,000 Danish rixdollars for the three islands, or $7,500,000 
for St. Thomas and St. John. Denmark would thus re- 
tain the largest and most valuable of the islands from the 
standpoint of production, but the United States would get 
St. Thomas, the most valuable from the standpoint of naviga- 
tion. Whichever of the two offers the United States should 
accept, the Danish government would insist on a plebiscite and 
no treaty would be accepted if this condition were not in- 
cluded. For some time the question hung fire. In the latter 
part of the summer of 1867 Senator Doolittle was sent to 
Copenhagen to aid Yeaman in the negotiations. Admiral Farra- 
gut made a visit to Copenhagen for the same purpose, but 
to no avail. Denmark continued to insist on the plebiscite. 
Finally, the United States gave in, and a treaty was concluded 
on October 24, 1867, by Count Frijs and Yeaman, by the 


terms of which the United States were to secure the two islands 
for $7,500,000.»» 

The day after the treaty was concluded, the Danish king 
caused a royal proclamation to be made to the inhabitants of 
the two islands. In this he stated that the treaty had been 
made subject to their ratification. He therefore hoped that 
they would show their wishes in regard to the cession by a 
free and extensive vote. He concluded by saying: "With 
sincere sorrow do we look forward to the severing of those 
ties which for many years have united You to Us, and never 
forgetting those many demonstration of loyalty and affection 
We have received from you, We trust that nothing has been 
neglected on our side to secure the future welfare of Our 
beloved and faithful Subjects, and that a mighty impulse, 
both moral and material, will be given to the happy develop- 
ment of the Islands under the new Sovereignty."^* 

Denmark sent a commissioner to the islands to supervise 
the election. To work in harmony with this gentleman Seward 
sent the Reverend Charles Hawley of Auburn, New York. 
Later Admiral Palmer with the Susquehanndh and Commodore 
Bissel with the Monongahela were sent to the islands to be 
of any service that the authorities might call for. The Mo- 
nongahela was placed! at the disposal of the authorities for 
transportation purposes.^® Their work was somewhat interrup- 
ted on November 18, 1867, by a very severe earthquake which 
caused much damage. There seemed to be only one serious 
objection to the transfer in the eyes of the islanders. Under 
Denmark the St. Thomas harbor had been a free port, and the 
St. Thomas merchants feared that this condition would be 
changed if the United States secured the islands. The Danish 
commissioner. Chamberlain Carstensen, and the Reverend 
Charles Hawley were sent to Washington to learn what would 
be the attitude of our government on that point. Seward 

83 Ibid., pp. 25-31; Congressional Becord, 64 Cong., 2 Seas., Vol. LIV, 
Pt. VI, p. 694. 

34 For the text of the proclamation translated from the Danish as it 
appeared in the St. Thomas Tidende, see De Booy and Faris, The Virgin 
Islands, pp. 18-19. 

«» James Parton, op. cit., pp. 31-33. 


informed them that in case of transfer the port would not be 
free. In spite of this information, the sentiment of the 
islanders was overwhelmingly in favor of annexation. On 
January 9, 1868, the election was held. The vote in St. 
Thomas stood 1039 in favor and 22 against the transfer; in 
St, John 205 in favor and none against,^® The Danish Rigsdag 
ratified the treaty soon after, and on January 31, 1868, it 
was signed by the king.^^ 

When the treaty was presented to the United States Senate, 
that body was in the midst of the great fight of Reconstruction, 
and the day of the impeachment and trial of President Johnson 
was close at hand. It soon became evident that the question 
of ratification of the treaty would be handled as a partisan 
measure. It was feared that the purchase of the islands would 
enhance the prestige of the administration, hence the work of 
ratification was purposely delayed. As the day drew near for 
the expiration of the time limit stipulated in the treaty for 
ratification, Seward negotiated a supplementary treaty extend- 
ing the time limit.^* Action being delayed again, the time was 
extended to April 14, 1870, Through the influence of Charles 
Sumner, who was chairman of the committee on foreign rela- 
tions, the treaty was kept in committee until March 24, 1870. 
At that time it was reported adversely and the Senate sus- 
tained the report.^* 

When the Danish government was notified of the action of 
the Senate, King Christian IX promulgated another royal 
proclamation to the people of the islands. He explained that 
the heavy debt caused by the disastrous war a few years 
earlier had been the cause of Denmark's decision to sell the 
islands. The action on the part of the United States Senate 
spared both the home country and the colonies the pain of 
separation. He hoped that by united efforts the interests of 
the islands might be promoted.^" 

86 Ibid., pp. 34-39, 

87 Congressional Becord, 64 Cong,, 2 Sess., Vol, LIV, Pt. VI, p, 694. 
38 J. D, Richardson, op. dt., Vol, VI, pp, 688, 693. 

36 Congressional Becord, 64 Cong., 2 Sess,, Vol, LIV, Pt. IV, p. 3648. 
*o De Boy and Fairs, op. oit., pp. 20-22. 


It is hardly possible to believe that the sale of the islands 
would have caused any tears either in Denmark or the West 
Indies. The plebiscite of January 9, 1868, abundantly sub- 
stantiates this view so far as the islanders are concerned. The 
Danish West Indies were not colonized from Denmark, conse- 
quently the ties of consanguinity, which tied England to her 
colonies, were found not to exist among the Danish people. 

When George H. Yeaman on February 1, 1868 telegraphed 
to Washington that the treaty had been ratified by the Rigsdag 
and signed by the King, he added in cipher, "Several Euro- 
pean powers hope it will fail in Congress."" These powers — 
England was one of them — had their wish granted by the 
action of our Senate. 

The Senators who took part in the action did not admit that 
domestic politics was the cause of the defeat of the treaty. 
In personal letters from Senators Cameron of Pennsylvania, 
Patterson of New Hampshire and Harlan of Iowa to Edward 
L. Pierce in 1889, it was brought out that the reason the 
Senate defeated the treaty was because the committee on 
foreign relations felt the price was too high. These gentlemen 
were members of this committee. It was also contended that 
Denmark was not mistreated because the House of Represen- 
tatives had given warning in November, 1867, that it would 
not support the purchase of any more territory.*^ 

It will not be amiss to state the attitude of the Danish 
people on the subject. On April 24, 1869, an article appeared 
in Daghladet, a Copenhagen newspaper, which stated that Den- 
mark was well aware that the United States Senate had the 
right to reject the treaty. As a country with a constitutional 
government she had given the same power to her Rigsdag, and 
she was as anxious as any nation to see that such a right 
was maintained. But it was an unfair and a very unfriendly 
act for the Senate to exercise that right in the form of a 
delay. The United States had taken the initiative in the 

*i James Parton, op. cit., p. 42. 

*2 Edward L. Pierce, A Diplomatic Fiasco. This is a pamphlet of 18 
pages published in 1889. It argues against the purchase. For the 
House Resolution of November 25, 1867, see Congressional Globe, Appen- 
dix, 40 Cong., 1 Sess, pp. 792-793. 


purchase of the islands. If the Senate did not agree with the 
administration it was its duty to be frank about it and not 
keep the Danish government and more especially the people 
in the islands in suspense. The word "No" was honorable 
and justifiable but it was not courteous to let the matter go 
by default. Such action did not show "international good 
breeding. ' '*^ 

The islanders were very much disappointed. As we shall 
see later, they showed their dissatisfaction from time to time 
until the purchase by the United States was finally consum- 

*3 "The St. Thomas Treaty," Editorial in Daghladet, Copenhagen, April 
24, 1869. The article in translation is found in the Library of Congress. 
** A few minor events took place during the sixties which were not 
connected with the Civil War. In 1861 a consular convention of two 
articles was added to the treaty of 1826. See W. M. Malloy, Treaties, 
etc., Vol. I, p. 383. In 1864 the Missionary Society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church sought aid from the State Department to secure per- 
mission to operate in Denmark. This was granted by the Danish 
government. Foreign Belations of the United States, 1864-1865, Pt. IV, 
p. 344; Ibid., 1865-1866, Pt. m, pp. 180-181. After the assassination of 
President Lincoln letters of condolence were received by our government 
from the Danish foreign office and from the Governor of the Danish 
West Indies. Foreign Belations of the United States, Appendix, 1865, 
pp. 43-45. 



During the period between 1870 and the end on the nine- 
teenth century, a number of events took place which bulked 
large in the diplomatic relations between the United States 
and Denmark. They are too varied in their nature to be 
followed in their chronological order. Each problem will 
therefore be treated separately. 

1. Danish Exportation of Criminals. 

Early in 1868 our government was informed by Consul 
George P. Hansen at Elsinore that it was the practice of the 
Danish authorities to send convicts to the United States. Re- 
cently Ole Sorenson, a notorious criminal, had been promised 
his freedom if he would leave the country. The man was a 
vagrant, a thief, and under suspicion for murder. The consul 
learned through the newspapers that the police at Copen- 
hagen had sent him to the United States, as they thought it 
was cheaper to ship him out of the country than to keep him. 
Upon communicating with V. C. Crone, the director of police 
at Copenhagen, he had received no reply. He had, however, 
succeeded in getting a lithograph of the criminal and had sent 
it to the chief of police in New York and had told him to 
be on the lookout for the man.^ 

When this information reached the United States govern- 
ment. Secretary Seward immediately instructed George H. 
Yeaman to remonstrate with the Danish government against 
the practice.'^ President Andrew Johnson sent a message to 
Congress stating the facts and recommending that a law be 

1 Senate Documents, 40 Cong., 2 Sess., Vol. II, Doc. 71, pp. 1-2. Our 
gOTemment was informed of a similar practice going on very extensively 
in the provinces of Westphalia and Bavaria in Germany. Foreign Bela- 
tions of the United States, 1868-1869, Pt. II, pp. 42-43. 

2 Senate Documents, 40 Cong., 2 Sess., Vol. II, Doc. 71, p. 3. 



passed "making it a penal offense to bring such persons to 
the United States."^ That body, however, true to its policy 
of '^opposition to the administration must have preferred to 
have the criminals come than to humor the president. No 
law was passed on the subject tiU. the year 1875."* 

In 1874 another case arose. In the spring of that year 
the Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish, wrote to the American 
representative in Copenhagen, Michael J .Cramer, that the 
S. S. Washington had recently brought six convicts from 
Denmark. Each had a draft for $7.60 drawn on the Amer- 
ican Emigrant Co. All but one would be prevented from 
landing and would be returned to Copenhagen. He in- 
structed Cramer to make a rigid inquiry into the case. He 
declared that the United States would consider it as an "un- 
friendly act" if the King's government should participate 
in the practice of sending criminals to America. Although 
the Danish representative at Washington, J. Hegerman Lin- 
dencrone, had excused the government of Denmark on the 
plea that the men had served out their terms and were 
therefore like other immigrants, it should be made plain to 
Denmark that we were unwilling to have such people come 

Henry B. Ryder, our charge d'affaires, ad interim, reported 
another case in 1882. In a letter to the Secretary of State, 
F. F. Frelinghuysen, he stated that a certain Mads Jensen, 
alias Jorgensen, a criminal from Oldrup, Jutland, was about 
to be sent to the United States by the police at Copenhagen. 
As there was no time to work through the Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, he had written a letter to the chief of police 
at Copenhagen, which had prevented the criminal from leav- 
ing for America. Later he had presented the matter to the 
foreign office, as a result of which this individual case 
was ended. 

The minister, however, had asked him for an interpreta- 

8 J. D. Richardson, op. cit., "Vol. VI, p. 637. 

4 Statutes at Large, Vol. XVIII, Pt. Ill, p. 477. 

5 Foreign Belations of the United States, 1874-1875, pp. 368-369. 


tion of Section 5 of the Act of Congress of March 3, 1875.* 
He had replied that it was not within his province to interpret 
or construe acts of Congress as that power belonged to the 
courts. In the event of a Danish convict migrating to the 
United States, the courts would interpret it in each particular 
case. However, the United States would appreciate very 
much if the Danish government would prevent convicts from 
immigrating to America even if they had served out their 
term.^ John Davis, the acting Secretary of State, ans- 
wered Ryder's communication and praised him for his dis- 
cretion in the Jensen case. He further stated that it was 
the duty of every representative abroad to prevent such per- 
sons, as well as paupers, from entering the United States, 
and that the government would deprecate very much to learn 
that any government would aid an undesirable class of its 
population to migrate to America.^ 

Another convict case arose in 1887. Acting Secretary of 
State, James D, Porter, wrote in September of that year to 
Rasmus B. Anderson, United States Minister Resident at 
Copenhagen, that Denmark was still sending ex-convicts to 
the United States as soon as they had served their term. He 
was informed that they were aided financially by the Danish 
government in various ways. Minister Anderson was in- 
structed to get all the information he could on the subject." 

A month later Anderson replied that the information ob- 

« The immigration act of March 3, 1875. "Sec. 5. That it shall be 
unlawful for aliens of the following classes to immigrate into the United 
States, namely, persons who are undergoing a sentence for conviction 
in their own country of felonous crimes other than political or growing 
out of or the result of such political offenses, or whose sentence has been 
remitted on condition of their emigration, and women 'imported for the 
purpose of prostitution.' . . . And for all violations of this act, the 
vessel, by the acts, omissions, or connivance of the owners, masters, or 
other custodian, or the consignees of which the same are committed, 
shall be liable to forfeiture, and may be proceeded against as in cases 
of frauds against the revenue laws, for which forfeiture is prescribed 
by existing law." Statutes at Large, Vol. XVm, Pt. m, p. 477. 
» Foreign Belations of the United States, 188S, p. 251. 
8 Tbid., p. 252. 
» Ihid., 1888, Pt. I, p. 473. 


tained by the foreign office at Washington had probably come 
as the result of an article which appeared in the Danish 
paper Morgenhladet. From this it appeared that two notorious 
swindlers had been released from prison on the condition that 
they go to the United States. So far as Anderson was able 
to learn the following were the facts in the case. Two men, 
Salomansen and Riemenschneider, were engaged in the bus- 
iness of book publishing. Being hard pressed for cash, 
Riemenschneider, who was an expert engraver, had made 
several Danish 1000 kroner notes. The fraud was detected 
and both men convicted of counterfeiting and sentenced to 
serve a term in the penitentiary. Some time before the ex- 
piration of their terms both had been offered their freedom 
on the condition that they leave the country forever. Saloman- 
sen declined the offer, and was still serving his term, while 
Riemenschneider accepted and went to the United States. It 
was impossible to tell which way he had gone. Some rumors 
had it that he had been sent by one of the Thingvalla steam- 
ers while others claimed that he had left by way of Hamburg 
or England. At any rate it was quite certain that he had 
gone to the United States, probably under an assumed name. 

Anderson also stated that during the previous winter he 
had heard of paupers being shipped out of the country. Some 
of the poor-house boards seemed to think that that was the 
cheapest way to get rid of some of their paupers. He added 
that it was the custom in many European countries to par- 
don convicts on the condition that they leave the country, 
but it was left to the convict where he would go. Although 
this was a reprehensible practice, it seemed that, if the gov- 
ernments would not desist, the United States would have to 
be more rigid in her immigrant inspection.^" 

There can be no question but that Anderson was right in 
charging that other European governments aided their con- 
victs to go to the United States. We have already seen that 
this was so in Germany. The same thing was true in re- 
gard to France.^ ^ and it is clear from the correspondence 

10 Jhid, pp. 476-477. 

n Ibid., 1887, p. '650 -,1888, Pt. I, pp. 506-507. 


between Secretary of State T. F. Bayard and Rufus Magee, 
our representative at Stockholm in 1886, that the same prac- 
tice existed in the kingdoms of Sweden and Norway." The 
assistance was given, as shown by the German, Danish and 
Swedish correspondence, by organizations formed for that 
purpose. While the central governments in these countries 
were declaring that they were not aware of the practice and 
were anxious to assist in preventing it, yet it seems clear 
that the work of those organizations, as well as the action of 
poor-house boards and prison officials, could not have gone 
on without the knowledge of the higher government officials. 
France was more honest than the rest. She acknowl- 
edged that the practice had been carried on, and when the 
United States remonstrated with her, she gave orders to stop 

2. The Problem of Extradition. 

While the United States insisted that she did not want 
Danish convicts, nor those of any other foreign nation, she 
also insisted on taking care of her own criminals. In 1878 
Secretary of State Evarts wrote to M. J. Cramer at Copen- 
hagen that we had extradition treaties with all the European 
nations eixcept five, and that Denmark was one of these. 
Her peculiar location with her excellent shipping facilities 
made it especially desirable that treaty relations should exist 
on that subject, as she might otherwise become a rendezvous 
for American criminals. Cramer was instructed to sound the 
Danish government on the subject and to find out her at- 
titude in regard to the matter. He enclosed copies of two 
treaties recently made with other governments, which might 
be used as models. If Cramer should find that Denmark's 
attitude was favorable, the necessary power and instructions 
would be sent to him for negotiating the treaty.^"* 

Upon inquiry the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs was 
found to be favorably inclined towards the proposal. He 
stated that he had an "o priori willingness.^' Having been 

" Ibid., 1886, pp. 840-844. 

" Ibid., 1888, Pt. I, pp. 506-507. 

" Tbid., 1879, p. 306. 


given the two models the minister took up the matter with 
the other members of the cabinet. He later reportd to 
Cramer that Denmark would be willing to make a treaty 
with the United States on the subject of extradition but it 
would have to differ from the models in three respects: 

"First. An increase in the list of crimes, especially under 
the head of forgery, but without specifying any particular 

"Second. To have criminals provisionally arrested by 
telegraphic orders to the consuls at the ports where such 
fugitives may be supposed to land; and 

"Third. The curtailment of expense connected with the 
arrest and delivery of fugitives." 

Our government suggested to Cramer that he work out a 
treaty following the models of Denmark's treaty with Great 
Britain and our treaty with Spain of 1877 on the same sub- 
ject." When he and the Danish officials had come to an 
agreement, he would be given power to sign it.^® The two 
parties, however, were unable to agree on the terms. The 
President reported to Congress in 1880, "The attempt to 
negotiate a treaty of extradition with Denmark failed on ac- 
count of the objection of the Danish Government to the usual 
clause providing that each nation should pay the expense of 
the arrest of the person whose extradition it asks."^'^ 

Some years later an incident happened which made clear 
to both nations the value of a treaty of extradition. In the 
fall of 1887 two men, known as John D. Pomeroy and Wil- 
liam B. Franks arrived at Copenhagen. Pomeroy stated that 
his home was in Montreal while Franks claimed Victoria, 
British Columbia, as his place of residence. They made 
people believe that they were cattle buyers who had come to 
Denmark for pleasure. As the two men did not act like 
cattle men, the police became suspicious. Later two scrap- 
books were found in their possession which contained a large 
number of clippings relating to a "Benson" case. This was 

15 For text of the treaty with Spain, see W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc.. 
Vol. II, p. 1665. 

16 Foreign Belaiions of the United States, 1879, p. 310. 

17 J, D. Richardson, op. eit., Vol. VII, p. 609 


brought to the notice of the American minister, R. B. Ander- 
son. Upon further investigation, after the two men were ar- 
rested, it was found that John D. Pomeroy was really John 
A. Benson, a contractor from California, who was under in- 
dictment for conspiracy and fraud. He had forged govern- 
ment documents to secure extensive land grants. William B. 
Franks was a brother of Benson who had accompanied him 
as a companion. Personally he was not a criminal except 
as an accessory after the fact. Minister Anderson immediately 
inquired of the United States government whether Benson 
was wanted, stating that Denmark was willing to extradite 
him even in the absence of a treaty. The answer of our 
government was in the affirmative, but to the message was 
added: "Department assumes that Denmark extradites with- 
out treaty. It should be understood that under our system 
the United States can only extradite when there is a treaty."" 
Later, when Secretary Bayard sent the documents needed 
for extradition to Anderson, he stated that the extradition 
was to be asked as a courtesy of the Danish government, 
which on account of existing laws we could not reciprocate.^' 
As no indictment existed against the brother of Benson, 
he was soon released and sent to the United States on the 
S. S. Thingvalla. United States Marshal J. C. Franks of 
San Francisco was sent to Denmark to take John A. Benson 
and all the papers found in his possession into custody. He 
left with his prisoner by way of Bremen on January 30, 1888, 
on the S. S. Lahn. Before leaving Copenhagen Franks asked 
the Danish authorities to allow a Danish police officer to ac- 
company him to Bremen. This request was not granted as 
Denmark feared complications with Germany, the laws of 
which country prohibited a foreign nation from transporting 
a prisoner through its territory without first obtaining per- 
mission. An officer, however, was detailed to accompany 
him to the German border. The American consul Loening 
at Bremen was notified to assist Marshal Franks on German 

18 Foreign Belations of the United States, 1888, Pt. I, pp. 479-480. 

19 Ihid., p. 481. 

20 For the facts of the Benson case, see i^id., pp. 479-483. 


It is hardly possible to say that this case caused the two 
powers finally to agree on the terms of an extradition treaty. 
It may, however, have had its influence. But even if this case 
had not come up, it would have been clear to both powers 
that such a treaty should exist. During the early part of 
Roosevelt's first administration, Secretary John Hay suc- 
ceeded in concluding a treaty with Constantin Brun, the 
Danish Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at 
Washington. This was proclaimed in force on April 17, 1902. 
It is very much like the treaty with Spain of 1877 formerly 
mentioned. The rock upon which treaty negotiations of 1879- 
1880 split was here eliminated by including in Article XI 
a provision to the effect that the expenses of extradition 
should be borne by the state asking the extradition. "Pro- 
vided, that the demanding government shall not be com- 
pelled to bear any expense for the services of such public 
ofiicers ... as receive a fixed salary; and Provided, that 
the charge for services of such public ofiicers as receive only 
fees or perquisites shall not exceed their customary fees for 
the acts or services performed by them had such acts or ser- 
vices been performed in ordinary criminal proceedings under 
the law of the country of which they are officers. "^^ 

In 1905 a supplement was made to this treaty, in which 
it was provided that, in case the fugitive should be found 
in the island possessions of the contracting parties, located 
in America, the extradition papers might be executed by the 
chief executive of the islands. In case the fugitive should 
be found in island possessions not in America, the applica- 
tion for extradition should be made through the diplomatic 
channels. The list of crimes for which extradition might be 
demanded was also enlarged.^^ 

21 For the text of the treaty, see W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc., Vol. I, 
pp. 390-394; Statutes at Large, Vol. XXXII, Pt. II, 1906-1913. This is 

22 For the text of the supplementary treaty, signed by Elihu Eoot and 
Constantin Brun, see W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc.. Vol. I, pp. 395-396. 
For a bi-lingual copy, see Statutes at Large, Vol. XXXIV, Pt. Ill, pp. 


3. The Negotiation of Minor Treaties. 

For the sake of facilitating the passage of mail between 
the United States and Denmark a postal convention was 
negotiated between the nations in 1871.^^ When in 1873 Den- 
mark changed her coinage to the present decimal system, a 
new schedule of postal rates was worked out, which went 
into effect in 1874.^* That same year Denmark and the 
United States were both signatories to the "General Postal 
Union" treaty signed at Berne, Switzerland, on October 9, 
1874.^' The following year a weights and measures conven- 
tion was negotiated by the United States with several nations, 
Denmark being one of these.^® A mutual and reciprocal 
agreement for the exemption of vessels from readmeasure- 
ments was made in February 1886.^^ Each nation agreed to 
recognize the tonnage stated in the certificate of registry of 
vessels entering its ports under the flag of the other nation. 
The purpose of this arrangement was to save a great deal of 
unnecessary labor in measuring each vessel as it entered, the 
result of which would usually be found to be the same as 
stated in the registry. 

On account of the favorable reputation of American goods 
in Denmark, many countries sold their goods to Danish mer- 
chants who in turn resold them to the public as American 
goods. This was reported by Michael J. Cramer as early 
as J.879. He proposed that the United States should have 
conventions with other nations to protect American trade- 
marks. On the other hand, the United States sold large 
quantities of butter to Denmark; and Danish buttermakers 
would "rework" and "repack" this butter and sell it to 
England. Because of the great reputation of Danish butter 
the Danish merchants would receive twice the price they had 
paid for it. This practice could not be stopped because 
American trade-marks were not protected in Denmark.^® As 

»s statutes at Large, Vol. XVH, pp. 903-916. 

2* Ibid., Vol. XVin, Pt. ni, p. 832. 

28 Ibid., Vol. XIX, pp. 577, 589. 

26 Ibid., Vol. XX, p. 709. 

27 W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc., Vol. I, pp. 386-387. 

28 Foreign Belations of the United States, 1879, pp. 303-308. 


the Danish buttermakers were the masters of the world in 
their trade, our representatives in Denmark urged the United 
States to secure Danish buttermakers to teach the Americans 
how to make better butter.^® 

The disregard of American trade-marks in Denmark finally 
brought our government to realize that a treaty should be 
made to protect our goods. Such a treaty was concluded by 
Clark E. Carr and the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
Reedtz-Thott, on June 15, 1892. It provided for the reciprocal 
protection of trade-marks and trade-labels. The conditions 
were that the extent of time on these should be the same 
as in the country of their origin, and that the formalities for 
filing should be the same as the law provided for domestic 
trade-marks.^"' Thus if an American manufacturer wanted to 
protect an article under his trade-mark, he would file the 
trade-mark with the Danish government in the same fashion 
as a Danish manufacturer. 

By an act of Congress of March 3, 1891, the President 
of the United States was authorized to extend the benefits of 
our copyright laws to foreign publications, provided, the 
nation of the author gave substantially the same protection 
to American publications. As Denmark extended such priv- 
ileges to the productions of American authors, reciprocity in 
copyrights was proclaimed in May, 1893, by President Cleve- 

4. Diplomacy Concerning Trade. 

a. The Interpretation of "the Most Favored Nations" 

By a law of Congress of June 26, 1884, Section XIV, a 
tonnage duty of six cents per ton, not to exceed thirty cents 
per ton for any one year, was levied on vessels entering 
the United States from foreign ports. By the same sec- 
tion provision was made that vessels which entered our ports 
from Central America, the West India Islands, Bermuda, New- 

2» Ibid., 1877, Appendix, pp. 33-36. 

80 Wm. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc., Vol. I, p. 389. 

81 J. D. Richardson, op. dt., Vol. IX, pp. 395, 443; Statutes at Large, 
Vol. XXVIII, p. 1219. 


foundland, and a few other places should only pay a tonnage 
of three cents per ton, not to exceed fifteen cents for any 
year. By the most favored nations clause in Article 1 of the 
Danish American treaty of 1826 it was agreed that neither 
nation should grant any favors to a third power which should 
not immediately become common to the other party.^^ 

On the basis of these facts, P. Lovenorn of the Royal 
Danish Legation wrote Secretary Bayard in August, 1885, 
that Denmark claimed the right of having tonnage duties 
on her vessels entering United States ports reduced from six 
to three cents. *^ After some delay an answer was received 
from the Secretary of State stating that, since several other 
nations had made similar claims, the matter had been re- 
ferred to the Attorney-General, who had made the ruling that 
the law was geographical in its character. Its benefits might 
became operative on any vessel of any nation plying between 
the privileged regions and the United States. The treaty and 
the act of Congress would not warrant a reduction of tonnage 
dues on vessels clearing from ports in Denmark for the 
United States, but Danish vessels taking part in the trade men- 
tioned in the Act of June 26, 1884, woidd be benefited by its 
provisions.'* As no further correspondence ensued on the 
subject it is probable that the Danish government acquiesced 
in the position of the Attorney-General. 

Upon inquiry by Secretary Bayard through the Amer- 
ican minister at Copenhagen, R. B. Anderson, in regard to 
the treatment of American vessels in the Danish ports, it was 
learned in a reply from Baron Rosen6rn-Lehn in February, 
1888, that United States vessels were treated exactly like 
Danish vessels. Denmark would even be willing to open 
the coasting trade to the United States on the basis of 
reciprocity, the trade with Greenland excepted since all 
trade with this Danish colony was reserved exclusively to the 
crown.*' It was thus evident that Denmark was extending 

32 For the Act of Congress of June 26, 1884, see Statutes at Large, Vol. 
XXIII, pp. 53-60, 841-843. 

33 Foreign Belations of the United States, 1885, pp. 362-363. 

34 Ihid., p. 363. 

35 Hid., 1888, Pt. I, pp. 484-485. 


the advantages of the most favored nations clause to citizens 
of the United States. 

In a treaty between the United States and Hawaii of Jan- 
uary 30, 1875,^^ it was arranged that sugar from the Hawaiian 
islands should be allowed to enter the United States free of 
duty. A suit based on this clause was decided in the United 
States Supreme Court in 1887. The court in this case, known 
as Bartram vs. Robertson, decided that, since Hawaii ex- 
tended favors to the United States in the treaty of 1875, 
the situation was in reality one of reciprocity. The favor to 
Hawaii was thus extended for a compensation. When similar 
compensation should be made by Denmark, Danish sugar 
from St. Croix might enter free of duty.^'^ 

By a law of August 3, 1882, Congress levied a tax of fifty 
cents on each immigrant "who shall come by steam or sail 
vessel from a foreign port within the United States." From 
the wording quoted it is evident that the tax did not apply 
to anyone coming across the border from Canada or Mexico. 
This constituted a privilege to those two countries, according 
to the Thingvalla Steamship Line. On the basis of the most 
favored nations clause this firm claimed exemption from 
the tax and brought suit to recover money that had been 
paid as head tax on passengers on the S. S. Geyser. The 
ease came up in the Court of Claims. In the opinion de- 
livered by Justice Richardson no denial was made in regard 
to the claim made by the Danish firm that by the law a 
privilege was extended to Canada and Mexico. He claimed, 
however, that Denmark could not obtain redress because the 
act of 1882 was later than the treaty with Denmark. If Con- 
gress saw fit to enact a law the provisions of which were 
contrary to an existing treaty that was its privilege and 
the act must prevail in the courts of the country.^* 

38 W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc., Vol. I, pp. 915-917. 

37 Bartram vs. Robertson, 122 United States, 116-121. For another de- 
cision following the same reasoning, see Whitney vs. Eobertaon, 124 
United States, 190. 

38 For the Immigration Act of 1882, see Statutes at Large, "Vol. XXII, 
pp. 214-215; for the decision, see Thingvalla Line vs. United States, 24 
Court of Claims, 255-264. 


It seems unfair that, when a treaty haa been made between 
two nations, thus forming a contract, one of the nations should 
annul a portion of the contract by passing a municipal law. 
The most favored nations clause as it appears in most of the 
United States treaties is based on reciprocity. This is at 
any rate true of the treaty of 1826 with Denmark. When 
Congress passes a law which conflicts with the provisions of 
existing treaties she thereby abrogates part of the treaty. Yet 
this is the practice that our government is following. Says 
J. P. Hall of the University of Wisconsin: "Where an act 
of the Congress of the United States conflicts with a prior 
treaty provision, the courts will give preference to the act 
of Congress, for it is not for courts to interfere if the gov- 
ernment sees fit to ignore the treaty into which it has 
entered."^® This is in agreement with other writers on inter- 
national law*" and in harmony with the action of the Supreme 

b. The Problem of American Pork and Meat. 

As early as 1883 the German empire tried to persuade 
the Danish government to stop the importation of American 
pork. Grermany objected to the Danish American pork trade, 
as it seems, because a great part of the more than five million 
dollars worth of pork exported to Germany was not the prod- 
uct of Danish grain-fed, but of American corn-fed, hogs. 
The American product was shipped to Denmark where it was 
treated by experts, repacked and shipped to Germany as 
Danish pork. This was before the trade-mark and trade-label 
convention had been concluded between the United States and 
Denmark. Germany threatened to cut off all trade in pork 
with Denmark if she did not stop buying the American 

This anti-American movement was renewed in 1887 with 
much vigor. Germany claimed that several cases of trichinosis 
discovered in Hamburg had been caused by eating pork im- 

«» James P. Hall, Constitutional Law, pp. 62-63. 

*o Charles H. Butler, The Treaty-Making Power in the United States, 

Vol. I, pp. 400-401, note. 

*i Bottiller vs. DominiEniez, 130 United States, 238. 

*a Foreign BeUOions of the United States, 1883, p. 252. 


ported from Denmark and claimed to have been an Ameri- 
can article. This claim, seems, however, to have been poorly 
founded as no case of trichinosis had appeared in Denmark 
for two and a half years. Minister Anderson claimed that 
the reason the Germans contracted the disease was because 
they ate the pork raw while the Danes cooked it thoroughly 
before eating.*^ 

Germany continued to press the issue with the Danish 
government. Although the Director General for the Danish 
foreign office had stated that Denmark would not exclude 
American pork, yet Anderson felt she might have to do so 
in order to retain her excellent German market.** Unfortu- 
nately at this time the "pork plague" (probably the hog 
cholera, or the hoof and mouth disease) started to rage in 
Denmark and other European countries. The Germans were 
busy spreading the report that the epidemic had come from 
America. The theory used "most vigorously" in explaining 
how the disease had been conveyed to Europe was to the 
effect that the wooden containers in which the American pork 
products were shipped contained the germs. Later, when this 
lumber was used for building purposes, the European hogs 
had been exposed to the contagion. However absurd this 
theory may be, it found a large number of adherents.*' 

This condition and the German influence finally caused 
the Danish Government on March 10, 1888, to issue an order 
prohibiting the importation of raw hog products from the 
United States until further notice.*" This order remained 
in force till 1891 when our minister, Clark E. Carr, suc- 
ceeded in getting the Danish government to revoke it, by 
promising that a rigid inspection of all meat products from 
America would be carried on.*^ 

For some time following this arrangement Denmark al- 
lowed the importation of meat products from America. In 

43 Ibid., 1888, Pt. I, pp. 475-476. 

« Ibid., pp. 478-479. 

*5 Ibid., pp. 478, 480-481, 483. 

*6 Ibid., p. 486. 

*7 Ibid., 1891, pp. 487-488. 


August, 1894, the Wilson-Gorman tariif was passed, which 
provided for a duty of forty per cent ad vol. on sugar imported 
into the United States and an additional tariff of 
one-eighth and one-tenth of one per cent per pound on sugar 
imported from countries where a bonus was paid, either di- 
rectly or indirectly, for the exportation of the article.*® It 
seems that "in the nature of a retaliation for the tariff im- 
posed on her sugar," Germany in November of that year 
prohibited the importation of American cattle and meat. As 
has been shown before, Germany would be liable to get these 
products through Denmark, unless the importation to that 
country could also be stopped. Just what pressure she brought 
to bear on her small neighbor to the north we cannot say, 
but judging from her earlier action and the statements made 
later by our representative in Denmark, it was a case of 

Shortly after Germany's action, the Danish minister of 
the interior published an order in the official government 
newspaper, Berlinske Tidende, prohibiting the importation of 
live cattle (Kvceg) and fresh meat from America. The order 
stated that the reason for the prohibition was to avoid the 
spread of the "Texas fever, now prevailing in America." 
When this matter was called to the attention of the Danish 
foreign office, Vedel, the Director-General, acknowledged that 
he was not aware that such a condition existed in America, 
but stated that matters of that kind were left to the Minisfer 
of the Interior. The fact that Vedel admitted that he did 
not know of the existence of the "Texas fever" in America 
lends further weight to the suspicion that the order was 
originally "made in Germany."'** 

Our representative at Copenhagen, John E. Risley, called 
the attention of the Danish government to the fact that the 
order used the word Kvceg, which in the Danish language 
means not only horned cattle but also hogs and sheep. The 

*8 statutes at Large, Vol. XXVIII, p. 521. For the whole act. ibid., 

pp. 509-570. 

49 Foreign Belations of the United States, 1894, pp. 205-206; ibid., 1895, 

Pt. I, p. 212. 

80 Ibid. 


Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reedtz-Thott, explained that, 
while it was true that the word Kvceg was used in the order, 
the Minister of the Interior had promised him that it would 
be interpreted as if the word Hornkvceg had been used; thus 
the products of hog and sheep might be freely imported, as 
well as hermetically sealed canned meats. In October, 1895, 
Risley handed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs a copy of the 
law of March 2, 1895, which dealt with the handling and in- 
spection of cattle and meat, as well as a copy of the rules 
and regulations of the Department of Agriculture, and re- 
quested that the restrictions be removed entirely. He pointed 
out that the American system of inspection was so weU or- 
ganized and carried into effect that there was no reason for 
Denmark to fear that unfit products would be shipped out. 
When Reedtz-Thott had conferred with the Minister of the 
Interior on the subject, he reported to Risley that, so long 
as Germany retained her present attitude on the subject, it 
would be impossible for Denmark to revoke the prohibitive 
order. At the end of the century the order was still in 

c. American Aid to Danish Interests in China. 

In 1874 J. Hegerman-Lindencrone, the Danish Minister at 
Washington, appealed to Hamilton Fish in behalf of the 
Great Northern Telegraph Company of Copenhagen. This 
firm had obtained permission from the Chinese government 
to built a telegraph line from Woosung to Shanghai. The 
local magistrates objected to the existence of the line and 
caused considerable trouble. Denmark therefore asked the 
United States to use her influence with China so that the 
work might be completed. 

Secretary Fish promised that he would have our repre- 
sentative to China look into the matter and make a report. 
Fish also used the opportunity to remind the Danish repre- 
sentative that in 1869 the United States had proposed a 
telegraphic convention to Denmark^^ but had never received 

81 Hid., 1895, pp. 210-213. For the law of March 2, 1895, see Statutes 
at Large, Vol. XXVIII, pp. 727-738. 

82 The communication is not published. 


a reply. The Danish government later replied to this that 
she had sent an answer in May, 1870;" but the communica- 
tion, it would seem, failed to reach the American govern- 

Our representative to China, S. Wells Williams, took up 
the matter of the Danish telegraph line with the Chinese gov- 
ernment. It appears that the Chinese merchants were anxious 
to have the line built but the government officials of the 
province were prejudiced against it. They finally acquiesced 
and the line was completed. Said Williams in reporting to 
the State Department: "A good thing is always its own best 
argument and vindicator." The Danish government extend- 
ed due thanks for the service rendered."* 

d. The Petroleum Test Bill. 

As the result of a lecture given before the Insurance Com- 
panies' Union at Copenhagen, the Danish ministry of justice 
caused the Polytechnic Institute to make various experiments 
with kerosene. Based on these experiments, this institution 
recommended that petroleum which gave off ignitible vapors at 
a temperature lower that 23° Celsius under a barometric 
pressure of 760 m. m. should not be sold to the public unless 
marked as explosives. The current standard was 40° Celsius 
under the pressure mentioned. This recommendation was em- 
bodied in a bill and laid before the Danish Rigsdag in 1887. 
If the bill should pass, it would be a severe blow to Amer- 
ican petroleum and a move very favorable to the Russian 

The State Department instructed R. B. Anderson to do what 
he could through diplomacy to prevent "unfriendly dis- 
crimination against our commerce." On account of political 
troubles in Denmark, peculiar to her government at that 
time, the petroleum bill hung fire for a long time, and finally 
was amended in a way more favorable to the United States. 
It failed to become a law in the session of the 1887-1888 
Rigsdag. From the fact that we hear nothing more about 

«» It does not appear what the answer was. 

8* Foreign Belations of the United States, 1874, pp. 378-383. For our 

correspondence with China about this matter, see ibid., pp. 246-249. 


it in the diplomatic correspondence, it is likely that nothing 
further was done about the matter.^' 

e. The Sugar Tariff. 

The Wilson-Gorman tariff act of 1894, as noted above, 
levied an extra duty on all sugar imported from countries 
where bounties were paid for exportation. Denmark taxed 
the manufacture of beet sugar, but in case the sugar was 
later exported the tax was refunded. Because of this the 
United. States put her on the list with those which gave 
bounties for exportation. Count F. Reventlow, the Danish 
representative at Washington, remonstrated against this and 
explained that the Danish system was not the giving of 
bounties but simply exemption from a domestic tax. There 
was only one exception to this, namely, on sugar darker than 
the Amsterdam standard No. 19. On this kind of sugar there 
was a manufacturer's tax of 2.25 ore per pound. One hun- 
dred pounds of this sugar would through the refining pro- 
cess produce eightly pounds of granulated sugar {melis), ten 
pounds of brown sugar (farin), and. seven pounds of molasses 
(sirup), while three pounds were lost through evaporation, 
in case these products were exported, the government re- 
funded 2 kroner and 40 ore on the eighty pounds of melis, 
22% ore on the ten pounds of farin, and 7 6re on the seven 
pounds of sirup, a total of 2 kroner and 69% ore. Deducting 
the tax of 2 kroner and 25 ore, there would remain a bounty 
of 44% ore for each one hundred pounds, or 0.556 ore each per 
pound of melis. Even this bounty, as a matter of fact, did 
not enter into the sugar trade between Denmark and the 
United States, because nearly all the sugar sold direct 
from Denmark was unrefined. During the years 1889-1893, 
no refined sugar had been exported for American consump- 
tion, although 2,660 pounds had been shipped for consump- 
tion on board of the vessels in which it was shipped. In the 
Danish West Indies no bounty system of any kind existed 
as there were no refineries there. Under those circumstances. 
Count Reventlow asked in behalf of the Danish government 

85 Ibid., 1888, Pt. I, pp. 472-475, 486, 487. 


that Denmark be struck off the list of countries offering ex- 
port bounties on sugar."® 

Secretary of State, W. Q. Gresham, answered Count 
Reventlow by stating that a bill was before Congress provid- 
ing for the repeal of the differential duty. As soon as more 
definite rules were made on the subject he would communicate 
them to him. Shortly after, Acting Secretary, Edwin F. 
Uhl, informed Reventlow that the Secretary of the Treasury 
had ruled that, in view of the explanation of the Danish 
bounty system, the collectors of the department had been 
given orders to tax only those sugars from Denmark proper 
upon which bounties were actually paid when they were ex- 

5. Arbitration of the Butterfield Claims. 

The leading facts connected with the origin of this case 
have been stated in Chapter IV. The claim for $301,814.08, 
with accruing interest till the date of payment, was laid 
before the Danish government in June, 1860. Hall, the 
Minister of Foreign Affairs, registered the objections of his 
government in a note of August 10, 1860. He argued that, 
since there had been a delay of nearly six years in pre- 
senting the claims, it would now be very difficult to sub- 
stantiate the facts in the case. He also called attention to 
the letter of Hebn, dated October 19, 1854, in which he ap- 
proved the action of Governor H. H. Berg in requiring a 
bond as guarantee that no hostile act would be committed, 
and especially to the remark in the same letter that what- 
ever may have been the destination of the vessel at the 
outset, he was able to give assurance ''that there is now 
no hostile intention on the part of the owners or agents of 
these vessels towards any government or nation whatever.'"* 
This remark by Hebn recognized Governor Berg's motive as 
fair, which was to discharge his duty and prevent a hostile 

B« Foreign Selations of the United States, 1895, Pt. I, pp. 205-206. 

67 Ibid., pp. 206-207. For the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act, see Statutes 

at Large, Vol. XXVIII, pp. 509-570. For the tariff on sugar, Schedule 

E, p. 521. 

*« For the text of Helm's letter, see Executive Documents, 45 Cong., 3 

Sess., Vol. XVI, Doc. 33, pp. 21-22. 


expedition from being aided in Danish territory when it was 
directed against a friendly state. In regard to the firing on 
the Benjamin Franklin, he needed only to say that the Sec- 
retary of State, Wm. L. Marcy, had by his action recognized 
that the incident had ''arisen out of negligence on the part 
of the captain of the vessel." Since therefore all the mea- 
sures the Danish government had taken were legal and neces- 
sary', the government of the United States could not hold 
her responsible for damages. 

On account of the outbreak of the Civil War the case was 
allowed to be temporarily forgotten. When the war was ended, 
William H. Seward in May, 1866, urged the claim on the 
Danish government and offered an explanation in regard to 
the delay. The first delay had been occasioned by Pickett 
and the later delay by Soule, both men being somewhat slow 
in getting the necessary documents together. There was, how- 
ever, less than four years between the date of ascertaining the 
final amount of the damages and the date the claim on which 
was put before the Danish foreign office.^'' 

The argument in favor of the claims was presented to the 
American representative in Denmark through Seward by 
Lewis and Cox, the attorneys for the claimants. When George 
H. Yeaman put the facts before the Danish government he 
pointed out that there was no statute of limitation between 
nations as between individuals. Said Yeaman: "It will not 
be overlooked by His INCajesty's Government that it once, 
after a lapse of more than twenty years from the commission 
of the acts complained of, made honorable satisfaction of 
claims preferred by the Government of the United States in 
behalf of citizens injured by those acts."^° The fact that 
William L. Marcy had said nothing more about the case, 
after he had presented the matter to Torben Bille and re- 
ceived his reply in 1856, did not mean that the case was 
dropped, so far as the claims for damages was concerned, for 
no claims had been presented to Bille. In regard to Helm's 
statement, mentioned by Hall, he observed that it should 

59 Ibid., pp. 60-65. 
80 Ibid., p. 67. 


not be construed to mean that the United States recognized 
the vessels as having had an original criminal intent. On the 
contrary, an investigation had been held which cleared them of 
such suspicion. If Helm's statement was taken to prove that the 
vessels had been under suspicion, it must also be taken to 
prove that such suspicion no longer existed. In international 
affairs a suspicion did not constitute ground for action. Re- 
cently a great European power had not deemed it sufficient 
reason to detain a vessel even after much proof had been 
presented that the vessel was being built for a purpose hostile 
to the United States. As Denmark was a nation especially 
interested in the just observance of international maritime 
law, it was hoped that she would not disregard the justice 
of this claim.'* 

The Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count E. Juelwind 
Frijs, to whom Teaman's letter was addressed, returned a 
vigorous answer four months later, declaring that the claim 
was outlawed "by the sole fact that it had not been in- 
sisted upon in due time {qu'on omis de la faire valoir en 
temps utUe).'' But whatever might be said in regard to the 
statute of limitation he affirmed that there was another fact 
of greater importance: Denmark was unwilling to recognize 
the justice of the claims. She had had a duty to perform 
towards Venezuela as well as towards the United States. The 
vessels were suspected not only by Venezuela and the author- 
ities of the Danish West Indies, but also by the United 
States government, a fact proved by the inquiry which had 
been held before the Catharine Augusta left New York. The fact 
that the American government had "discharged the seques- 
tration" was no reason why the authorities at St. Thomas 
should hold them innocent, for each state was responsible for 
its own action and must therefore take its own precaution. 
Referring to Teaman's allusion to England's attitude toward 
the building of Confederate cruisers, Count Frijs used a 
pleasant but effective wit, when he observed: "that the un- 
favorable reception which that tolerance of the Government of 
Her Brittanic Majesty has found in the Northern States and 

81 Ihid., pp. 66-71. 


the steps taken by the government of the United Sates to 
prevent England from proceeding in a similar manner in the 
future, seem to indicate that the Cabinet at Washington have 
not been very well satisfied with the great liberty allowed 
to the above mentioned ships." In closing he expressed the 
hope that the United States might understand the unfairness 
of the claims presented and hence pursue the matter no fur- 

In the summer of 1869 the United States took up the case 
again. The new Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish, com- 
municated with the Danish charge d'affaires at Washington, 
F. de Bille, stating that, since the matter had been pre- 
sented twice to the Danish government and each time re- 
jected, the matter had taken such form that either one of 
the nations would have to give in or else the matter should 
be submitted to arbitration. He therefore proposed that the 
matter be referred to the British or Russian minister at Wash- 
ington and that his decision should be deemed binding.^^ 

De Bille promised to put the proposition before his govern- 
ment but it appears that no answer was received. In April 
1874, J. C, B. Davis, Acting Secretary of State, instructed 
Michael J. Cramer to put the matter before the Danish gov 
emment again.®* When these instructions were carried out, 
the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rosenorn-Lehn, stated 
that he was very sorry that the United States had pre- 
sented the matter again, and that he hoped the proposal for 
arbitration might be withdrawn. Through J. Hegermann- 
Lindencrone, the Danish representative at Washington, a 
formal request was made of the government for the with- 
drawal of the proposal for arbitration. Four reasons were 
given. First, too long a time had elapsed since the occurrence 
of events which had given rise to the claims. Second, many 
of the men connected with the events were now dead, for 
example, Feddersen, Berg, Castonier and others. Those who 
were still living could no longer remember the details. Third, 
the American officials, and especially Helm, had agreed that 

62 Ihid., pp. 72-74. 

63 Ibid., p. 75. 

64 Ibid., pp. 75-76. 


the laws of neutrality should be guarded to the satisfaction of 
the Danish authorities; and as soon as satisfactory proof had 
been presented that the cargo of the Catharine Augusta had 
a lawful destination, it was released. Secretary Marcy had 
admitted that the shot fired at the Benjamin Franklin was 
occasioned by the negligence of the captain. No disrespect 
had been shown at the time to the American flag because the 
Benjamin Franklin was flying the British colors. Fourth, 
every time the Danish government in the past had presented 
the whole case in its true light, it had been dropped for a 
while; it was not fair to continue to revive the case. It was 
contended that as long as there was no true claim there was 
nothing to arbitrate. De Bille pointed out that Venezuela 
was in the same situation in which the United States gov- 
ernment found itself a few years later. A rebellion had 
broken out within her borders and her representatives urged 
upon the Danish government at St. Thomas, as the United 
States did upon England, not to give aid to the rebels. Since 
the United States government had successfully demanded dam- 
ages from England on account of the Alabama, it was unfair 
to hold that the Danish government should have taken the 
same stand towards Venezuela that England did to the United 

Hamilton Fish answered the Danish government through 
Michael J. Cramer in a memorandum forwarded soon after 
the receipt of Hegermann-Lindencrone 's communication. The 
note which was brief and pointed contained the following 
arguments in favor of the claims. First, the question of time 
was not pertinent as a statute of limitation did not obtain be- 
tween nations. Second, the periodic presentation of the 
claims was caused by circumstances and could therefore not 
be held to invalidate them. Third, the facts in the case were well 
established, so that it was of no consequence that witnesses 
could not be called. Fourth, admissions by any American 
officials could not alter the facts in the case. Fifth, as a 
belligerent could not capture arms and ammunition from an 
enemy in a neutral port, he could not ask a neutral to do it 

65 Ibid., pp. 80-84. 


for him.** Cramer sent the memorandum of Hamilton Fish 
to Baron 0. D. de Rosenorn- Lehn on August 15, 1874,*^ but 
it does not appear that a reply was ever received from the 
Danish government. 

Several years passed during which no mention was made 
of the Butterfield Claims. On May 25, 1878, the House of 
Representatives passed a resolution requesting the Secretary 
of State to furnish it with a statement and the documents 
concerning the claims.*® These were transmitted by the Pres- 
ident in January, 1879.*® It does not appear, however, that 
anything was done at that time, and for nearly a decade the 
case was forgotten. 

What occurred to bring up the case again cannot be re- 
lated here as the documents have not been published; but 
in 1888 the question of arbitrating the Butterfield claims was 
taken up in Copenhagen by Rasmus B. Anderson, Minister 
Resident of the United States. He succeeded in getting Den- 
mark to agree to arbitration. A convention, concluded De- 
cember 6, 1888, was ratified by our Senate the next year 
in May. It provided in its first article that the claims should 
be referred to Sir Edmund Monson, the British representa- 
tive at Athens, as sole arbitrator. The second article pro- 
vided that duly certified copies of all documents connected 
with the case should be furnished by each government to the 
arbitrator and that duplicates of the copies presented to him 
should be presented to the other government. The time for 
filing the documents with the arbitrator should be limited 
to seventy days from the day the government received noti- 
fication of his acceptance. The expenses, according to the 
third article, should be shared equally by the two govern- 
ments. The fourth article provided that the two govern- 
ments should abide by the decision of the arbitrator and 
perform his decree without delay. The fifth and last article 
provided for the ratification of the convention.^" 

66 Ibid., pp. 85-86. 

67 Ibid., p. 87. 

«8 Congressional Eecord, 45 Cong., 2 Sess., Vol. VII, Pt. IV, p. 3792. 

«» J. D. Richardson, op. cit.. Vol. VII, p. 510. 

70 For text of the treaty, see W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc., Vol. I, pp. 



Sir Edmund Monson accepted the position as arbitrator/* 
On January 22, 1890, he rendered his award, a copy of which 
was sent to the Secretary of State, James 6. Blaine. The 
arbitrator held that there were no substantial difference in 
the representation of facts by the two governments. The 
decision would therefore hinge on the interpretation of those 
facts. Taking up the contention of the Danish government 
that a statute of limitation operated between nations as be- 
tween individuals, the arbitrator held that the lapse of time 
would not preclude payment if the merits of the case should 
prove that compensation ought to be made. It might, how- 
ever, be a just cause for criticism by the Danish government.^^ 
In regard to the question whether there were ligitimate 
grounds for suspecting the two vessels, he answered in the 
affirmative. It was therefore the duty of the Danish author- 
ities to take precautions. As to whether there was reason- 
able ground to object to the measures taken by the Danish 
authorities, he observed that the facts in the case did not 
justify the terms "seizure and detention" used in the Amer- 
ican argument. The measures adopted by the authorities of 
St. Thomas consisted in demanding a "bond of moderate 
amount" and a personal guarantee that, if the vessel were 
allowed to be repaired in a Danish port, neither it, nor its 
cargo, would be used against a nation friendly to Denmark. 
This was necessary in virtue of the Danish law forbidding the 
free export of arms. "The ships were in no sense seized 
nor detained and the precautionary measures .... were 
cheerfully acquiesced in by the consignees and the commercial 
agent of the United States." He therefore held that the 

71 For the correspondence relative to the extension of the invitation to 
Sir Edmund Monson to become the arbitrator in the case, see Foreign 
delations of the United States, 1889, pp. 152-158. 

72 It is interesting to note here that Sir Edmund Monson disagreed 
on this subject with Henry Wheaton when, in regard to the Bergen prize 
claims, he stated that a certain time must come when claims become 
invalid on account of the lapse of time, and that, if a third party were 
to arbitrate the case, the claims would most likely be held invalid as 
nearly seventy years had passed since they arose. For Henry Wheaton 's 
argumentation, vid. sup. Chapter HI, and Executive Documents, 28 Cong., 
1 Sess., Vol. n, Doc. 264. 


measures were reasonable and the United States had no cause 
for complaint. As to whether the measures had been kept 
in force too long, he observed that the request to reload the 
cargo was made on May 7, 1855, and the permission given 
shortly afterward/^ There is no evidence that clearance might 
not have been obtained earlier had the plaintiff asked for it. 
There is therefore no ground to show ''that the precautionary 
measures . . . were maintained longer than was necessary." 
On the basis of these facts the claims, which were founded 
on the precautionary measures of the St. Thomas authorities 
taken toward the Benjamin Franklin and the Catharine 
Augusta, were disallowed. 

The question of the firing on the Benjamin Franklin was 
then taken up. The arbitrator held that the chartering of 
this vessel by the British steamship company did not in itseK 
entitle the vessel to enjoy the privilege of the regular steam- 
ers of the company to enter or leave at night without special 
permission. Even steamers under the Danish flag did not 
enjoy this privilege. "It is clear that the captain of the 
Benjamin Franklin neglected to comply with these formal- 
ities, and consequently the Danish Government cannot be 
fixed with the responsibility of what unfortunately ensued." 
From all the facts in the case it was clear ''that neither in 
respect to the firing upon the steamship Benjamin Franklin, 
any more than in the treatment of that steamer and of her 
consort, the Catherine Augusta, is any compensation due from 
the Danish government."^* 

6. The Mormon Problem. 

During the last seventy years regular waves of Mormon 
missionary propaganda have swept over Denmark. The first 
one came in 1850 when two "Apostles," Snow and Dykes, 
arrived from Utah. Snow made Copenhagen his center of 

73 As stated in Chapter IV clearance was given to the two ships May 
26, 1855, after the proper documents had been presented to the authori- 
ties. Executive Documents, 45 Cong., 3 Sess., Vol. XVT, Doc. 33, pp. 

74 For text of the award, see Foreign Belations of the United States, 
1889, pp. 158-160. See also J, B. Moore, International Arbitration, Vol. 
II, pp. 1185-1207. 


activity, while Dykes labored around Aalborg in Jutland/' 
A few years later the Mormons attempted to establish their 
work on the island BornholmJ^ Many of the converts emi- 
grated from Denmark to Utah because they could there prac- 
tise their newly-embraced doctrines of polygamy. During 
the seventies our foreign office inquired of the Danish gov- 
ernment what was being done to prevent migration to Amer- 
ica for polygamous purposes. The Minister of Foreign Affairs 
answered that his government was pleased to know that the 
United States was interested in the problem, as Denmark was 
powerless in the matter since it was not against Danish law 
to join the Mormon church. Furthermore there was no legal 
way to stop emigration which had for its purpose a future 
state of polygamy, for, according to Danish law, a purpose 
which had been given no expression was not punishable. 
Therefore, the only way to put a stop to Danish Mormon 
emigration was to stop polygamy in Utah, — ^that would re- 
move the condition which aided the propagation of the Mor- 
mon faith in European countries.^^ 

In May, 1897, John E. Risley received a petition from C. 
N. Lund, president of the Scandinavian Mission of the 
Mormon Church, requesting the intervention of the American 
representative in behalf of two Mormon missionaries, American 
citizens, who had been expelled from Denmark because they 
preached Mormon doctrines. He claimed that they had not 
preached polygamy and that therefore they had not broken the 
law of the land. Risley was uncertain how to act, hence he 
wrote to Washington for instructions. These were sent in 
July of the same year and were to the effect that, if any 
doctrines were preached which were contrary to the laws of 
Denmark, the Mormon missionaries could not expect Amer- 
ican protection. If, however, they were "law-abiding and 
moral teachers, they should have equal treatment with other 
propagandists. ' '^* 

75 Hansen og Olsen, De DansTce Baptisters Eistorie, pp. 74, 91. 

76 Ibid., p. 111. 

77 Foreign Belations of the United States, 1880, pp. 346-347. 

78 Ihid., 1897, pp. 121-124. It does not appear from the correspondence 
what Risley did for the Mormons. 


In March, 1900, the Mormon question came up again be- 
cause the Danish government banished two Mormon mission- 
aries. They appealed to Laurits S. Swenson, the American 
representative at Copenhagen, for protection. He succeeded 
in getting the foreign offtce of Denmark to stay the execu- 
tion of the decree of banishment, which had been issued by 
the Minister of Justice. An investigation was held concerning 
the work of the two missionaries, which revealed that they 
had done nothing contrary to law but had been banished for 
preaching Mormonism in general. It was shown by several 
affidavits that polygamy was no longer a tenet of Mormonism. 
The American minister therefore asked the Danish govern- 
ment to revoke its decree of banishment. He received the 
reply that, since the United States in 1879 and 1881 had re- 
quested Denmark to prevent the migration of Mormons to 
the United States and since the emigration records showed 
that a large number of people of the Mormon faith had been 
migrating to Utah to the detriment of the Danish state, the 
order could not be revoked. A month's stay of the execution 
of the decree was, however, granted.'^® 

Since 1900 the Mormon question has caused very little 
trouble as the Danish government has become more liberal on 
the subject.*" Perhaps the fact that polygamy has disap- 
peared in the United States has done its part to remove the 

7. The Status of the American Representative to Denmark. 

Denmark has followed the principle of keeping the rank 
of her representatives to foreign countries as low as pos- 
sible. This was generally done for economic reasons. It was 
the custom of the United States to give a representative to 
a foreign country the same rank which that nation's repre- 
sentative held in Washington. Consequently our representa- 
tive at Copenhagen held a rank very low compared with the 
size of the nation he represented. This was humilating to 
our representative for two reasons. Since his rank in the 
diplomatic service was low, his salary was very small. At a 

78 Foreign Belations of the United States, 1900, pp. 413-422. 
80 Ibid., 1901, pp. 140-141. 


time when the representatives of the larger European na- 
tions at Copenhagen were paid $25,000 a year, our repre- 
sentative received only $5,000. Unless he was wealthy he 
was unable to take part in the court affairs and the social 
functions of the diplomatic corps. On the other hand, our 
representative felt humiliated when on various official occa- 
sions, because of his low rank, he would have to wait till the 
representatives of very small countries, holding high diplo- 
matic ranks, had finished their business at the foreign office. 

During the early part of the nineteenth century our rep- 
resentative in Denmark had held the rank of charge d'affaires. 
During the seventies he was styled Minister Resident and his 
salary was $7500.*^ In the latter part of that decade his rank 
was changed again to charge d'affaires and his salary reduced 
to $5000.*^ In 1883 the rank was again changed to Minister 
Resident and the office of Consul-General was added, but 
the salary continued at $5000.*' Thus it remained for sev- 
eral years. On account of this condition Rasmus B. Anderson 
recommended to the foreign office that the rank should be 
raised to Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, 
that the salary should be raised to $7500, and that there should 
be no secretary at the legation,** 

In spite of this recommendation nothing had been done in 
1889 when Anderson left Copenhagen and Clark E. Carr 
took his place. The new minister found it even harder to 
get along on the small salary than his predecessor, for he had 
his family with him while Anderson had left his in the United 
States.*"' In 1890 the matter was brought before Congress by 
Senator John Sherman who was in favor of adopting An- 
derson's recommendations. Consequently the rank was changed 
and the salary raised by a law of July 14, 1890, to $7500.*' 

<Ji Statutes at Large, Vol. XVIII, Pt. II, p. 67. 

82 Ibid., Vol. XIX, p. 170. 

83 Ihid., Vol. XXII, p. 128. 

8* Senate MiscelUmeous Documents, 51 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. II, Doc. 135, 

pp. 1, 2. 

85 Ibid., pp. 3-4. 

«« Ibid., pp. 5-6; SUitutes at Large, Vol. XXVI, p. 272; Congressional 

Becord, 51 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. XXI, Pt. VIII, p. 7264. For full record 

of the bill in Congress see ibid., Index p. 428, House Bill 9603. 


In 1892 a rumor reached Denmark, that the American le- 
gation would be discontinued. Carr informed the Secretary 
of State that this rumor seriously hampered negotiations with 
Denmark in regard to the World's Fair.*^ The rumor, how- 
ever, was either unfounded or the threat was not carried 
out. By a law of February 22, 1907, the salary of our repre- 
sentative to Denmark was raised to $10,000,^^ at which figure 
it still remains.®® 

87 Senate Miscellaneous Documents, 52 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. V, Doe. 127. 

88 Statutes at Large, Vol. XXXIV, Pt. I, p. 917. 

89 Ibid., Vol. XL, Pt. I, p. 1326. In 1895 the United States sought and 
obtained permission from the Danish government for the Peary Belief 
Expedition to land in Greenland. Foreign Belations of ithe United 
States, 1895, pp. 207-210. The same year complaints were made through 
F. Eeventlow, the Danish minister at Washington, that American cattle 
shippers were in the habit of securing Danish citizens as helpers on 
board the cattle boats and leaving them destitute in foreign ports. Secre- 
tary of State Gresham answered that, although the practice was de- 
plorable, nothing could be done to remedy the situation at present be- 
cause of the lack of appropriate laws under which to prosecute the 
shippers. Ihid., p. 214. 


AND DENMARK, 1900-1920 

The events of the last twenty years are so recent that they 
have scarcely become history. Were it not for one out- 
standing incident, this period would be left for the historian 
of the future. That event is the purchase by the United 
States of the Danish West Indies in 1916-1917. Before tak- 
ing up this subject, however, a few minor matters which have 
occurred during the twentieth century will be mentioned. 

1. Reciprocal Protection of Industrial Designs. 

According to the laws of the United States, industrial de- 
signs and models made by aliens residing in another country 
are protected by our government only when that country ex- 
tends reciprocity in protecting the designs and models patent- 
ed in the United States. When the proper conditions exist, 
the President of the United States is empowered, by procla- 
mation, to extend protection to foreign patents.^ 

In accordance with this law the Danish Envoy at Wash- 
ington, Constantin Brun, notified the State Department on 
June 8, 1906, that under the law of April 1, 1905, Denmark 
had granted protection to American industrial designs and 
models on the basis of reciprocity. He therefore requested 
that the necessary promulgation be made by the United States 
and promised that a corresponding promulgation would be 
made in Denmark.^ The promulgations were made in due 
order, by the United States on June 22, 1906, and by Den- 
mark on August 14, 1906." 

2. Reciprocal Protection for Trade-Marks in China. 

1 statutes at Large, Vol. XXXII, Pt. I, pp. 1225-1227, law of March 3, 

2 W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc.. Vol. I, p. 396. 

8 Ibid., p. 397. For the Danish promulgation in the Danish language, 
see ibid., p. 398. 



A similar arrangement was made in 1904. The Danish 
government acting through Brun requested the United States 
to protect Danish trade-marks duly registered in America 
against infringement by our citizens in China. Reciprocally, 
the Danish government would protect American trade-marks, 
duly registered in Denmark, against infringement by Danish 
citizens in China, by causing violators to be brought before 
the Danish consular court at Shanghai and punished in ac- 
cordance with the provisions of the laws of Denmark, dated 
April 11, 1890, and December 19, 1898, and of the Royal 
Ordinances, dated September 28, 1894, and September 12, 
1902. He also requested that the arrangement be made effec- 
tive by an exchange of notes. 

The State Department responded soon after and expressed 
its willingness to enter into such an agreement, as we already 
had similar agreements with other nations. It was pointed 
out, however, that we had no law making the infringement of 
a trade-mark a criminal offense, but that effective provisions 
existed by which damages might be obtained by civil action. 
The Danish government accepted this condition and instruc- 
ted its consul at Shanghai to act against violators accordingly. 
The United States representative at Peking was instructed 
to inform our consular agents in China to protect the Danish 
trade-marks in their courts according to the agreement.* 

3. Payment of the Samoan Claims. 

In a treaty between the United States, Germany and 
Great Britain in regard to Samoa, signed November 7, 1899, 
it was provided (Article III) that claims arising as a result 
of the warlike operations at Apia should be paid jointly by the 
United States and Great Britain. Danish subjects presented 
a claim for $2700 for the "destruction of live stock, injury 
to houses, fences, plantations, tanks, and the destruction of 
furniture and other effects." Two agents were appointed to 
investigate the claims. C. J. B. Hurst served for Great 
Britain and R. Newton Crane for the United States. They 
found that the value of the material destroyed was exaggerated, 

4 For text of the correspondence on thia subject, see W. M. Malloy, 
Treaties, etc., Vol. I, pp. 399-401. 


and on December 6, 1905, rendered a decision that $1520 
should be paid by the two governments,' By a law of January 
30, 1906, the share of the United States, amounting to $760, 
was allowed to the Danish claimants.* 

4. Arhitration Conventions. 

In agreement with Article XIX of the Hague Convention 
of 1899^ to which the United States and Denmark were sig- 
natories, an arbitration treaty was concluded at Washington 
on May 18, 1908, by Acting Secretary Robert Bacon and 
Constantin Brun. It provided that matters of a legal nature 
and questions relating to the interpretation of treaties failing 
to be settled by diplomacy should be referred to the Per- 
manent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, provided they 
did not involve "the vital interests, the independence, or the 
honor of the two Contracting States, and do not concern 
the interests of a third party." It was further agreed that 
before any case was put before the court a special agree- 
ment should be concluded "defining clearly the matter in 
dispute, the scope of the powers of the arbitrators, and the 
period to be fixed for the formation of the Arbitral Tribunal 
and the several stages of the proceedure." These preliminary 
agreements should be satisfied in due form. This convention 
was to last for a period of five years.* It does not appear 
that any case ever arose under its provisions. 

During the early years of Woodrow Wilson's administra- 
tion, his Secretary of State, William J. Bryan, concluded a 
series of conventions "for the advancement of the cause of 
general peace."* One of these was concluded with Denmark 
on April 17, 1914, and was signed by Secretary Bryan and 
Constantin Brun. It provided that disputes which should 

» Senate DocumenU, 59 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. IV, Doc. 160. 
« Statutes at Large, Vol. XXXIV, Pt. I, p. 635. 

For the Samoan treaty, see ibid.. Vol. XXXI, pp. 1875-1877. 

7 W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc.. Vol. 11, p. 2023. 

8 American Journal of International Law, October 1908, pp. 335. ff. 
For text of the treaty, see W. M. Malloy, Treaties, etc., Vol. I, pp. 401- 

» For the index to Bryan's treaties for the advancement of general 
peace, see Statutes at Large, Vol. XXXVIII, Pt. II, p. 2299. 


fail to be adjusted by diplomacy should be submitted to an 
International Commission of five members. "One member 
shall be chosen from each country, by the Government there- 
of; one member shall be chosen by each Government from 
some third country; the fifth member shall be chosen by 
common agreement between the two Governments." Neither 
country should declare war nor begin hostilities while the 
work of the commission was going on. The two governments 
pledged themselves to "endeavor to adjust the dispute directly 
between them upon the basis of the Commission's finding." 
The treaty was to remain in force for five years and further 
until twelve months after one of the parties had given 
notice of its termination.^" 

5. The Purchase of the Danish West Indies. 

The attempt made by President Lincoln and William H. 
Seward to purchase the islands of St. Thomas and St. John, 
as noted in Chapter V, ended in failure largely for political 
reasons. The refusal of the Senate to ratify the treaty, which 
had originated in this country, left the United States gov- 
ernment in a peculiar situation. As the Monroe Doctrine is 
generally interpreted, the United States would oppose the 
transfer of the islands to another European country. It was 
the good fortune of the United States, therefore, that Den- 
mark was not very anxious to get rid of the islands. Had 
she decided, after the Senate's refusal to ratify the treaty, 
to transfer the islands to some European power, say Ger- 
many, it seems that our government would either have had 
to acquiesce or change its mind on the question of purchase. 

The unsuccessful transaction of the sixties had a peculiar 
influence on the inhabitants of the islands. The plebiscite 
had shown that they were all in favor of the transfer. The 
action of the Senate cruelly disappointed the islanders and 
left them restless and discontented. They had hoped for 
much improved conditions under the government of the United 
States. The people, whether Caucasian or Negro, had very 
little in common with Denmark. Even the language used 
was English, although the official language was Danish. Men 

10 Ibid., pp. 1883-1885. 


who were far-seeing realized that the purchase of the islands 
by the United States at some future date was inevitable." 

The question of the transfer of the islands came to the 
front again and again until the purchase was finally con- 
summated. It was a constant temptation for Denmark to 
sell the West India possessions because the sale might bring a 
neat sum of money into the Danish treasury. Added to this 
was the fact that the islands were a financial burden to the 
mother country, while both Germany and Great Britain were 
willing to purchase them and were in every way better 
equipped to take care of them. 

In 1874 a rumor reached the United States that Germany 
was trying to negotiate a treaty with Denmark by which 
Danish Schleswig, which Prussia had taken by force in 1864, 
was to be re-ceded to the mother country for the island of 
St. Thomas. Secretary Fish instructed Michael J. Cramer 
to discover whether there was any truth in the rumor. Cramer 
reported that the charge d'affaires of the German Empire 
at Copenhagen (the regular minister being absent) had stated 
positively that the rumor was unfounded. George Bancroft, 
our representative at Berlin, stated that he had assurances 
from the German government that no negotiations were in 
progress and that it would not accept the Danish islands as 
a gift. He added, however, that the decision on the Alabama 
claims had shown the German naval authorities how weak 
would be their position in case of a war, and that they were 
anxious to obtain coaling stations in various parts of the 
world. It seems that Hamilton Fish was not convinced for 
he gave orders to our representatives abroad to be watchful 
in case any negotiations of that character should occur." 

The dissatisfaction of the people of the Danish West 
Indies came to a head in October, 1878, when a revolt broke 
out in St. Croix as the result of a reduction in wages when 
the laborers asked for an increase. A riot was started in 
which forty-three sugar plantations were destroyed, the 
damages amounting to $1,100,000. About one-half of the 
town of Fredericksted was burned to the ground, and only 

11 The Nation (1869), Vol. VHI, pp. 248-249. 

12 Foreign Eelations of the United States, 1874, pp. 368, 439-440. 


with difficulty was the riot finally quelled.^^ During the 
following winter a commission of three was sent from Den- 
mark to investigate the conditions. The report of this com- 
mission was very gloomy. The Minister of Finance had a 
measure introduced in the Rigsdag to the effect that the gov- 
ernment should make temporary loans to the sufferers.^* 

After 1867 conditions in the Danish West Indies had grown 
worse year by year. Before that date the islands had been 
able to furnish money for their own government expenses 
and even at times to pay money into the state treasury. The 
sugar export from St. Croix had decreased from 15,000 hogs- 
heads in 1865 to 3,800 in 1878. When introducing the bill for 
financial aid to the islands, the Minister of Finance said: "it 
is high time a final determination should be reached as to 
the exact position to be assumed by the mother country toward 
these islands, for the present state of things is no longer 

It is not surprising that under the circumstances a rumor 
should arise again that Denmark was trying to sell the 
islands.^® The State Department instructed Michael J. Cramer 
to inquire into the report, inasmuch as we could not regard 
with indifference their transfer to any European power. The 
reply of the Danish government was to the effect that no 
negotiations were under way, but that the islands were 
suffering greatly and England would be better able to take 
care of them. Just what England would do was not known 
to Denmark.^^ It would seem that both at this time as well 
as in 1874 there was some truth in the rumor in spite of 
official denials. 

For more than ten years the matter rested, but in 1892, 
when Clark E. Carr visited Jacob Estrup, the Danish Prem- 
ier, to obtain copies of the Icelandic books containing the 
sagas of the discovery of America by the Northmen for the 

13 Ibid., 1878, pp. 160-161; Ibid., 

" Ihid., 1879, p. 307. 

15 Ibid., 1880, p. 345. 

i« Ibid., 1879, pp. 308-309. 

17 Ibid., 1879, pp. 308-309, 311. 


Columbian Exposition at Chicago, the conversation accidentally 
turned to the unsuccessful treaty of 1867. Estrup made the 
statement that, while Denmark was not seeking a buyer for 
the islands, she would be willing to consider a proposal by 
the United States. Later the same opinion was expressed by 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reedts-Thott. Premier 
Estrup authorized Carr to mention the matter to his govern- 
ment, in writing to the State Department about this, Carr 
showed that Denmark was not in financial difficulties, but 
that various improvements which she intended to make might 
become a reality if money could be obtained." 

Although Carr's correspondence did not elaborate upon the 
term "improvements," except to mention the re-erection of 
Christiansborg Castle which had burnt to the ground in 1884, 
there can be very little doubt in the minds of those that know 
the history of Denmark during this period. For years the 
conservative or Hojre party had been in favor of a policy of 
military fortifications at certain strategic points, especially at 
the capital, Copenhagen. This was opposed by the liberals or 
Venstre. The Hojre party had a majority in the aristocratic, 
appointive, upper house of the Rigsdag, known as the 
Landsthing, but (after the election of 1884) could only count 
on twenty out of one hundred and two members in the 
lower house, or Folkething. It was therefore impossible for 
the conservatives to carry any measure proposed. When 
the conservative administration under the leadership of the 
Premier Jacob Estrup attempted to carry through their 
cherished plans, the liberals under the leadership of Kristen 
Berg blocked them by refusing to allow money for the ordinary 
government expenses. This was done the first time when the 
Rigsdag failed to pass the finance bill for the fiscal year, April 
1, 1877, to March 31, 1878. The King, therefore issued a 
royal ordinance, which provided for the raising of money 
without the consent of the Rigsdag. This action, of course, was 
unconstitutional and had to be enforced by gendarmes who 
patrolled the country to prevent rioting. The royal ordinance 
continued in force for many years as neither the Hojre nor 

18 House Documents, 57 Cong., 1 Bess., Vol. XLVIII, pp. 2795-2797. 


the Vensire party was willing to give way.^® It is natural 
that under these circumstances Estrup might wish to raise 
money for the administration's program through the sale of 
the Danish West Indies. 

A short time after the suggestion was made to Clark E. 
Carr, a new political party got into control at Washington 
and, somewhat later, Jacob Estrup was succeeded in the 
premiership by Reedtz-Thott, who by wise concessions was 
able to compromise with the liberals and obtain money through 
constitutional means.^° Consequently the question of the trans- 
fer of the islands was lost sight of for the time being, although 
John W. Foster had sent a telegram to Clark E. Carr on 
February 4, 1893, instructing him to go ahead with the ne- 

In January, 1896, the new representative at Copenhagen, 
John E. Risley, wrote to Secretary of State Richard Olney 
that the New York papers had aroused much comment in 
Copenhagen by stating that negotiations were in progress for 
the sale of the islands, and that, if the United States did 
not buy the islands, Germany would. Risley asked the Di- 
rector General of Foreign Affairs concerning the truth of the 
report. The latter stated that the rumor was not true but 
that Denmark would be willing to sell the islands. Since the 
defeat of the treaty of 1867 in the United States Senate, 
Denmark surely would not take the official initiative in re- 
opening the question. If the United States should make a 
proposition, it would receive courteous consideration.^^ 

It does not appear that the Democratic party was in favor 
of the purchase, since nothing was done during Cleveland's 
administration. The Republican partj^, however, seemed to be 

18 For the text of the royal ordinance and the early part of the party 
struggle, see Foreign Relations of the United States, 1877, pp. 119-124. 
For fuller accounts of the parliamentary struggle in Denmark from 
1875-1901, see Cambridge Modern History, Vol. XII, 292-293; Frederick 
A. Ogg, Governments of Europe, pp. 559-568; E. N. Bain, Scandinavia, 
pp. 428-431. 

20 Hid., 

21 Hmise Documents, 57 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. XLVII, pp. 2797-2798. 

22 Ihid., pp. 2798-2799. 


favorable to the idea. In its national platform of 1896 there 
was a plank favoring the purchase of the islands in order 
to obtain a naval station in the West Indies.2^ Thus, the 
party had reversed intself on the subject since the days of 
Charles Sumner. Speeches were made and articles written by 
men in favor of the purchase, and Charles Sumner and his 
associates were taken to task for their shortsightedness.^* It 
was natural, then, that the Republicans should attempt to 
purchase the islands. But before a definite treaty was made 
a little episode took place which deserves to be mentioned. 

It appears that a Danish naval officer, known as Walter 
Christmas,^" who had been courtmartialed and dismissed from 
the service, conceived the idea of recovering his social stand- 
ing by leading a movement to sell the Danish West Indies 
to the United States. He also hoped to restore his wasted 
fortune by obtaining a commission of ten per cent for the 
sale.^^. In December, 1899, he succeeded in getting into per- 
sonal touch with President McKinley, who referred him to 
John Hay, the Secretary of State. Hay seemed interested 
and gave Christmas a letter of introduction to the American 
Ambassador at London. The Danish Envoy at Washington 
and the American representative at Copenhagen knew nothing 
about the work of Christmas. Christmas and Henry White, 
the secretary of the American Legation at London, went to 
Denmark to negotiate the sale with the Danish officials. Ravn, 
the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, was much surprised 
to learn what was going on. While he treated White very 
courteously, he flatly refused to admit Christmas to his office. 
Christmas, however, appealed to the Danish Premier and used 
effectively John Hay's letter of introduction. As a result he 
finally gained admittance to the foreign office. He was 
assisted in the negotiations by three other Americans, Niels 
Gron, Henry H. Rogers, and Charles R. Flint, Christmas 

»8 Beview of Beviews, Vol. XVII, p. 549. 

*•• W. M. Jones, "Two Great American Treaties," Beview of Beviews, 

Vol. XVn, p. 560. 

25 His full name was Walter Christmas Dirchinck Holmfeldt. House 

Beports, 57 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. IX, Doc. 2749, pp. 1-2. 

«« The Nation, Vol. LXXV, p. 340. 


informed the Danish officials that he could negotiate a sale 
for the islands, but that money would be needed to carry 
the treaty through the United States Senate. "When this was 
brought out, Denmark refused to carry the matter any further 
and the affair was dismissed.^^ 

During Roosevelt's first administration the Danish repre- 
sentative at Washington, Constantin Brun, and John Hay 
susceeded in negotiating a treaty for the transfer of the is- 
lands to the United States for $5,000,000. This treaty was 
ratified by the Senate and by the Danish Folkething, the low- 
er house of the Rigsdag, but was rejected by the Landsthing, 
the upper house of that body. It is generally conceded, or 
at least believed, that the defeat was due to German influence.^® 

For some time the question of purchasing the Danish West 
Indies rested. Meantime, economic conditions were getting 
worse in the islands and the population was decreasing.^^ The 
approaching completion of the Panama Canal made it still 
more desirable for the United States to possess a good harbor 
in the West Indies. From the standpoint of location the 
harbor at St. Thomas was the best in existence. It was 
therefore natural that the question of purchasing the islands 
would arise again. 

The outbreak of the war in 1914 and the fact that it was 
believed that Germany would make a strong bid for the 
Danish West Indies, if she should come out victorious in the 
World War, were perhaps the main reasons why negotiations 
were renewed for the purchase of the islands. A treaty was 
concluded between the two powers in the city of New York 
on August 4, 1916, and signed by Robert Lansing for the 
United States and by Constantin Brun for Denmark. The 

27 The Nation, Vol. LXXV, p. 320; North American Beview, CLXXV, 
pp. 500-505. In the spring of 1902 the whole affair was investigated 
and proved to be a scheme of Walter Christmas and his associates. See 
the "Richardson Investigation," House Reports, 57 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. 
IX, Doc. 2749. 

28 The Nation, October 30, 1902, Vol. LXXV, pp. 340, 393; Congressional 
Beoord, 64 Cong., 2 Sess., Vol. LIV, Pt. IV, pp. 3647-3651. For full 
text of the treaty of 1902, see House Documents, 57 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. 
XLVII, p. 2788. 

29 The Nation (1903), Vol. LXXVI, p. 283. 


Senate ratified the treaty on September 7, 1916. The ex- 
change of ratifications took place on January 17, 1917, and the 
formal transfer of the islands was made on March 31, 1917, at 
which time the purchase price of $25,000,000 was paid to the 
Danish Envoy at Washington/" 

Besides the customary articles in treaties of this type pro- 
viding for cession and payment. Article III mentions a large 
number of grants, concessions and licenses which the Danish 
government had granted various firms. These are guaranteed 
to remain inviolate under the government of the United States. 
The question of the Danish National Church in the islands 
became the subject of separate notes exchanged between the 
two governments on January 3, 1917. The arrangement here 
made was that the islands might be put on the same basis in 
regard to religion as that guaranteed by the Constitution of 
the United States.^^ 

In conformity with the Danish constitution, the treaty 
had to be ratified by the Rigsdag. Before the subject was 
taken up in that body for discussion, the administration 
caused a plebiscite to be held in the islands which turned out 
to be overwhelmingly in favor of the transfer.'* The question 
was also put before the people of the home country in order 
that the Rigsdag might learn public opinion in regard to the 
matter. The date set for the election was December 14, 1916. 
The liberal students of Denmark, backed by the administration 
and the Copenhagen newspaper Politiken, led the movement 
in favor of the sale. They argued that Denmark should con- 
centrate her attention on her northern colonies, Greenland, 
Iceland and the Faero islands, and get rid of the unprofitable 
West Indies. The conservatives, backed by the Nationaltidende, 
another Copenhagen newspaper, held that Denmark should not 
part with any of her territory.'* During the week of De- 

80 statutes at Large, Vol. XXXIX, pp. 1706-1717. 

81 Ibid., pp. 1716-1717. 

82 Congressional Beoord, 64 Cong., 2 Seas., Vol. LIV, Pt. VT, p. 697. 
33 Politiken, December 4, 7, 14, 1916. Practically everj- issue of Politiken 
from August 1 to December 28, 1916, contains articles dealing with the 
sale of the islands. On December 7, 1916, the paper issued a supplement 
edited by the Radical Students' Association. This contained statements 


cember 6-12, 1916, great massmeetings were held in twenty- 
five strategic points in different parts of the kingdom. These 
meetings were under the leadership of the radical students 
who spoke vehemently against the "unsound sentimentalism" 
of the conservatives.** The fact that since the treaty was 
made and ratified by the United States a very destructive 
cyclone had passed over the islands and destroyed close to 
a million dollars' worth of property was also used effectively 
by the pro-sale element.*^ 

When the election returns were complete, it was found that, 
out of 1,250,000 voters in the kingdom, only 441,290 had used 
the ballot. Of these about 283,000 were in favor of the sale 
and the rest against it. From this the conservatives drew the 
conclusion that, as only one-fifth of the voters had expressed 
themselves in favor of the sale, the West Indies should be 
retained. The conclusion, however, might fairly be reached 
that the election showed that the people in general did not 
care a whit whether the islands were sold or retained. On 
December 20, 1916, the Folkething voted 90 to 16 in favor 
of the sale, and the following day the Landsthing followed 
with a favorable vote of 40 to 19. The King signed the 
treaty on December 22, 1916** As stated above, the transfer 
was completed three months later. Thus was completed a trans- 
action which was surely beneficial to Denmark and, we trust, 
will not be regretted by the United States.*^ At the time the 
transfer took place, the United States Congress had already 
passed an act providing for a temporary government as well 
as for the payment of $25,000,000 to Denmark.*^ 

by every member of the Council for the Colonies, who were all in favor 
of the sale. See Tillceg til Politiken, December 7, 1916. 

34 Ibid. 

35 The cyclone struck the islands October 9-10, 1916. Politiken, Decem- 
ber 7, 1916. 

36 Politiken, December 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 1916. 

37 For a brief history of the Danish West Indies, see House Documents, 
57 Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. XL VII, pp. 2765 ff; Congressional Beoord, 64 
Cong., 1 Sess., Vol. LIV, Pt. VI, pp. 694-697. For a more complete 
history of the islands, see Waldemar Westergaard, The Danish West 
Indies, 1671-1917. 

38 Statutes at Large, Vol. XXXIX, Pt. I, pp. 1132-1134. 


An extract of a letter from Andreas Peter Bernstorff to Ditlev 
Reventlow, dated Copenhagen, December 27, 1777. 

"Si 1 'ind6pendance de I'Am^rique septentrionale n 'avert pas d'autres 
suites que de mettre des bomes a 1 'ambition des Anglois et de les 
mettre hors d'6tat d 'usurper 1 'empire tyrannique sur les mers, je la 
regarderois comme un bonheur, et je n'aurois pas besoin d 'arguments 
pour m'en consoler, mais quand je pense aux difficultes qu'il y aura 
de soutenir alors nos possessions dans ces parages 61oign6s, la diminution 
du commerce de la Baltique, le danger que la peche de Groenlande, si 
voisne de l'Am6rique, ne pent que courir, la rivalit6 pour toutes les 
productions du nord en g6n6ral et la superiority que la France re- 
prendra des 1 'instant que I'Angleterre cessera de la lui disputer, alors 
je ne puis que m'inquieter, et pr6voir, un avenir rempli de doutea et 
d 'incertitudes. L'Angleterre se propose certainment de se stipuler, 
meme en reconnoissais 1 'ind^pendance de ses colonies, des avantages 
dans la commerce suffisants pour faire entrer les produits de I'Am^rique 
et surtout le tabac dans sa proper balance, mais cette ressource lui 
sera encore vivement contest^e. Je soubgonne qu'il existe d6jk un 
traits de commerce entre le congres et al France, qui asseure k celle-ci 
des avantages futurs decisive, et si mes conjectures sent fonde&s, je 
crains que ce sera \k le germe d'une guerre presque certaine, que 
I'Angleterre poussera jusque h son triomphe ou jusques k son 
an^antissement parfait. L'emprunt de 25 millions que la France vient 
d'ouvrier, est uniquement destine aux d^penses que le retablissement de 
sa marine exige.''^ 


An extract of a letter from A. P. Bernstorflf to the Council of State, 
dated March 17, 1780. 

"Wachsen Uns vielleicht durch die Unabhangigheit von America 
solche Vortheile zu, die Uns wegen aller iibrigen zubesorgenden Folgen 
schadlos halten kdnnten? Nein! gerade das Gegentheil. Ea ist kein 
eintziger Staat von Europa, Engelland selber nicht ausgenommen, fiir 
den diese Unabhangigheit so drohend und so nachtheilig ist, als fiir 
Dannemark; und es ist Pflicht fiir mich, die Hauptbeweise dieses von 
mir langst behaupteten Satzcs anzufiihren. 

1) Es is eine Unmoglichheit fiir Dannemark seine Colonien, die als 

1 Aage Friis, Bematorfftke Papirer, Vol. Ill, pp. 541-542. 



Zuckerinseln ein besonderer Gegenstand des Neides der Nordamerieaner 
sind, gegan kiinftige Angriffe derselben zu vertheydigen. 

2) K6nnen wir verschiedene producten dieser lender, als z. E. des 
Reises, Tobaeks, und Indigo nicht ganzlich entbehren, haben aber 
selber keine, die innen niitzlich seyn kfinnten und zum Tausche dienlich 
waren; miissen sie also mit baarem Gelde oder mit Zucker bezahlen. 

3) Sind sie in Anaehung aller unseser zur Ausfuhr dienlichen Wahren, 
fast ohne Ausnahme, unsere BivaJe: Insonderheit was das Korn, daa 
Holz, und was noch bedenklicher ist, die Fiseherey betrifft. Ja sie 
haben in Ansehung des Wallfish .... wegen ihre Lage solche 
natiirliche Vortheile, dass so bald sie nicht mehr werden bezwungen 
seyn, diese Ihre Wahren nach Engelland zu fiihren sondem nach alle 
Markte und Hafen von Europa bringen Konnen sie Uns ohnfehlbar von 
denselben ganzlich ausschliessen werden 

4) Wird durch ihre directe Earth nach den Hafen der Mittel- 
landische See, der Handel mit den production der an dem Ostsee 
belegenen Lander, dergestalt fallen, dass der ZundzoU so betrachtlich 
leiden wird, dass der Schade wohl vorausgesehen, aber gewiss nich 
berechnet werden kann "2 


The treaty to which the Danish diplomat referred in his negotiation 
with Franklin was that between Charles II of England and Frederick 
III of Denmark. It was concluded February 13, 1660, Old Style, 
or February 23, 1661, New Style. Article V reads as follows: 

"Concordatum quoque est, quod neuter praedictorum Regum alterius 
inimicos seu rebelles in Regnis et Provinciis suis recipiet, aut tolerabit 
dummodo inimicos ejus aut rebelles esse reseiverit. Et si forte aliqua 
tapeta .... vel alia cujuscunque bona mobilia ad Regum Magnae 
Britanniae spectantia penes Regem Daniae et Norwegiae, aut aliquem 
subditorum suorum jam nunc sunt, aut de futuro, protimus restituantur, 
et transmittantur ad Regem Magnae Britanniae, aut tradantur iis quos 
sua Majestas ad ea recipienda deputaverit. Item, si qui eorum, qui 
rei sunt illius nefandi paricidii in Regem Carolum Primum Britanniae 
Magnae admissi, ac legitime de eodem scelere attincti, condamnati et 
convicti, vel jam sunt in Dominiis Regis Daniae, vel post illuc ad- 
venient, statim quam Regi Daniae, vel aliquibus officiariis innotuerit, 
vel relatum fuerit, prehensi in custodiam dentur, et vincti in Angliam 
remittantor, vel in corum manus tradantur, quos dictus Rex Magnae 
Britanniae iis custodiendis, denique revehendis praef ecerit. ' '3 

The treaty is thus introduced: "De konincklijcke Denemarcksche 
Secretarius hier door passerende communiceerde dit volghende Tractaet 

2 Ed. Holm, "Danmarks Neutralitetsforhandlinger, 1778-1780" Eistorish liis- 
shrift, 3 dje Rsekke, Vol. V. pp. 77-78. 

3 Jacques Bernard, Recueil des Traitez, Vol. IV, p. 30; Lieuwe van Aitzema, 
Zaken van Staat en Oorlogh, Vol. IV, p. 845. 


/tusschen sijn koningh ende die van Engelandt gemaecktAoewel sonder 
dato/ofte onderechrijvingfe. "* 

The following footnote is also found in Du Mont, op. oit., Vol. VT, 
p. 348. "Ce meme Traits se trouve deux fois dans la premiere Edition 
de ce Grand Becueil de HoUande Tom. IV. la premiere fois pag. 29, 
avec un Preambule, sur la Copie d'Aitzema, et la seconde fois pag. 
697, sur une Copie manuscrite; dat^ du Fevrier 1660. Celli-ci difere 
en quelque de toutes les autres ct peut passer pour authentique, ayant 
6t6 publico sous les jeux de la Cour et du Parlement, par I'Imprimeur 
du Boi. On croit que la Date en doit 3tre entendue selon le stile 
d'Anglcterre qui rovient au mois de Fevrier 1661, stile Gregorien." 


The statement upon which the historians, Fredericia and Schafer base 
their conclusions in regard to the origin of the Sound Dues reads as 
follows : 

"Vom Liibecker Tage im July 1423 erfahren wir: 'Na der tiid 
begherden se (des koninges rad to Kopenhavene), uppe dat de crone 
wat hebben mochte to erer herlicheyd, int erste, dat eyn islik schip in 
dem Orssunde streke unde geve also vele, also de stede sulven wolden, 
dat redelik were, odder dat alle Zeevund der cronen halfl worde unde deme 
dat tovoren tobehorede, efte dat men den tollen to Schone vorhogede, 
wente de schepe vormerden sik van dage to dage unde de penning 
vorerghede sik. Unde bii dem sulven lesten artikele bleven se' "s 


Aabent Kongebrev. 

JuU 20de, 1633. 
"Efftersom vi haffuer ladett sette brokar ved den haffn for vor 
kjobsted Helsingor, da haffuer vi naadigste for guod andseet, at her 
effter skall ungiffues haffne penge i saa maader som effterfolger: fdrst 
skall huer skude eller skibe giffue aff huer lest om sommeren to 
schilling Dansch, och huer som vil legge offuer om vinteren skaU giffue 
4 schilling Dansch; desligeste skall huer baad giffue om sommeren I 
sosUng og om vinteren I skilling Dansch. "« 

* We have obtained the date from Ivaro Qnistgaard, Index Chronolofficut, 1200- 
1789, p. 104. 

B Dietrich Schafer, "Zor Frage nach der Einfnhmng des Sundzolls," Hantiteh* 
Oetchichttblaetter, Jalxrgaiig, 1875, pp. 34-35. 

« Sjselandske Registre No. 19, fol. 143. Quoted by C. F. Wegener, OeheimerarkiveU 
Aartberetninifer, Vol. Ill, p. 94. 



Table of Money Values^ 
Danish Currency before 1873. 

1 Eosenoble 

Specie dollar. 

Specie dollar 

Specie dollar. 

Specie dollar. 

Goldgulden : 





,= 4% RixdoUars 

.= 2 EixdoUars — 

.= 12 Mark 

.= 192 Skilling 

.= 48 Stivers 




Modem Danish Currency. 

1 Krone 

1 American Dollar 

:1 1/3 Bixdollars = 

= 3 Marc banco of Hamb 'g= 

= 6 Mark (Danish) = 

= 4 Ort (or Bixort) = 

= 24 Skilling = 

= 16 Skilling = 

= 20 Skilling = 

= 4 Skilling = 









..=100 ore 

.=3 Kroner 76 6re. 

..= $ .26.8 



Zollkammer in Oeresund hat sich geburlich gemeldet der Schiffsfiihrer 
N. N. Schiff N. N. 131. N. Lasten von Stettin, kommt von Stettin 
mit umstehender Ladung gehend nach Sunderland und hat klarirt, wie 
sich gebiirt. 

Oeresund-ZoUkammer, den 25 November 1844. 

Vorbemeldeter Schiflfsfiihrer hat geladen: 

819 Stiick eichener Sehiflfhfilzer 
Zoll: 24 Bthl. 28 St. 
Foring: — Bthl. 47 St. 

Feuergelder : 

23 Bthl. 29 St. 
4 Ethl. 24 St. 

28 Ethl. 

5 St. 
Ot. Prosch. 

7 This table is worked out from facts presented in Executive Doctunentt, 33 Cong., 
1 Sess., Doc. 108, p. 3; William Guthrie, A New Geographical, Historical, and 
Commercial OrammMr, p. 662, folder; and John Macgregor, Oommereial Statiatiea. 
Vol. I, p. 158. 

8 Each ship passing the Sound had to obtain a similar certificate as a receipt 
that Sound Dues were paid. This sample is taken from H. Scherer, Der SundzoU, 
Beilage B, pp. 302-303. 


8p. Bdlr. Bt. 
Zollamts-Gebiiren : 3 — 

Inspecteur : 1 6 — N. B. weshalbf % Unvollat. 

: Schiffspapieref 

Copie : — 8 — N. B. Fiir Abschrift des Passes 

Mulct : 1 N. B. Weil die Papiere wahr- 

scheinlich nicht durch den Capt. 
Oder Steuermann zur ZoUkam- 
mer gebracht sind. § 34 der Conv. 
G. Prosch 


Specifications of the Sound Dues p. Constantia of Fayal, Captain J. 
Chriszostomo from Fayal bound for Baltic. 


Joao d 'Almeida Lima A. Vieira Maciel. 

JAL 17/1 & 3/2 & 9/6 Pipes Wine Sp. 40 

Domingos Eibeiro de Carvalho 
D. E. G. 20 Pipes Wine 




Schultz in Stettin. 

A. V. Maciel 

FRLP. 71/1 

— Pipes Wine"! 

IFPS 3/2 

— Pipes Wine 


— Pipes Wine 



— Pipes Wine 

A. J. F. Eocka 

AIFE 49/1 

— Pipes Wine" 

Sp. 147 

A. V. Maciel. 


EEIS 22/2 —Pipes Wine 

Without bills of Lading according to the Manifest 
4/1 & 4/2 & /8/6 Pipes Wine. 

Belonging to the Captain 
1/2 Pipe Wine free 

.Sp. 120 

Sound Customhouse the 8 Juli, 1843 
Pr. Olrik. Engelsen. 

~.Sp. 21 24 


Spc. Bdlrs. 368 24 

9 A similar bill was made out by the castomhonse officers for the cargo of each 
ship. This sample is taken from H. Scherer, Der SundzoU, Beilage N, p. 812. 



United States Representatives at Copenhagen 
Name and residence Bank Time of Service 

Minister 1810-1812. 

d'affaires 1812-1819. 


d 'affaires 1827-1835 

d'affaires 1835-1841. 

d'affaires 1841-1842. 

d'affaires 1842-1846. 

d'affaires _ 1847-1849. 

d'affaires. 1849-1851. 

d 'affaires 1852-1853. 

d 'affaires'! 
Resident l 1853-1858. 

George W. Erwing, Mass -Special 

John M. Forbes. Charg^ 

No representative 

Henry Wheaton, N. Y Charg6 

Jonathan F. Woodside, Ohio Charge 

Isaac R. Jackson, Pa -Charge 

William "W. Irwin, Pa -Charge 

Robert P. Flenniken, Pa Charg4 

Walter Forward, Pa ~ - Charge 

Miller Grieve, Ga X^h&Tg6 

Henry Bedinger, 

Va J Minister 

James M. Buchanan, Md Minister Resident 1858-1861. 

Bradford R. Wood, N. Y .Minister Resident 1861-1865. 

George H. Yeaman, Ky Minister Resident. 1865-1870. 

Michael J. Cramer, Ky J Minister Resident I 1870-1882. 

ICharg6 d'affaires I 

James P. Wickersham, Pa Charg6 d'affaires 1882 

Henry B. Ryder .Charg6 d 'affaires ad interim 1882-1883. 

Wickham Hoffman .Minister Resident 1883-1885. 

Rasmus B. Anderson, Wis JVIinister Resident. 1885-1889. 

fMinister Resident; En-~j 
Clark E. Carr, 111 |voy Extraordinary and(. 1889- 

Minister Plenipotenitary | 

John E. Risley, Ind 

Lauritz S. Swenson, Minn 

Thomas J. O'Brien, Mich 

Maurice F. Egan, D. C 

Norman Hapgood, N. Y 

Joseph C. Grew, Mass 

Envoy Extraordinary 


"Minister Plenipotentiary" 





Danish Representative at Washington 

J. Blicker Olson. 

Peder Pederson 

Steen Bille 

Torben Bille 

Rank Time 
-Minister Resident 

-Minister Resident.. 

Charge d'affaires.. 

Charge d 'affaires... 

W. R. Raaalfiff Charge d'affaires.. 

J. Hegermann-Lindencrone. Charg6 d 'affaires.. 

Carl Steen Anderson Bille Minister Resident.. 

P. L. E. de L6ven8m Minister Resident.. 

of Service 


F. W. Spoimeck. Minister Resident 1888-1894. 

F, de Eeventlow Minister Resident 1894-1895. 

fEnvoy Extraordinary"| 
Constantin Brun _| and Minister Plenipo- i 1895-1908. 

jtentiary j 

Count Moltke | Envoy Extraordinary 11908-1913. 

\ and I 

Constantin Bran [Minister Plenipotentiary! 1913- 



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Schafer, Dietrich, "Zur Frage nach der Einfiihrung des Sundzolles." 
Hansische Geschichtsbldtter. Jarhgang 1875. Leipsig, 1876. 

Scharf, J. Thomas, History of the Confederate States Navy. Albany, 

Scherer, Hermann, Der Sundzoll. Berlin, 1845. 

Schinkel, Bernt von. Mi/nnen ur Sveriges Nyare Historia. Utgifvet 
af C. W. Bergman. 11 vols. Stockholm, 1852-1872. 

Schlegel, J. F. W., DatmuurJcs og HertugdSmmemes Statsret. 
Kj6benhavn, 1827. Chapter VII of this volume has been trans- 
lated by Geo. P. March and published under the title "Origin 
and History of the Danish Sound and Belt Dues," Hunts' Mer- 
chants' Magazine. (1844), Vol. X. Boston. 

Scott, James Brown. The Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800. 
New York, 1918. 

Sherburne, John Henry, The lAfe and Character of John Paul Jones. 
Second edition. New York, 1851. 

Steenstrup, Joh., Erslev, Kr., Heise, A., Molerup, V., Fredericia, 
J. A., Holm, E., JSrgensen, A. D., og Neergaard, N., Dammarks 
Biges Historic. 6 Bind. Kobenhavn og Kristiania, n. d. This 
is the most complete history of Denmark we have. It is written 
on the same principle as Cambridge Modern History. 

Vattel, M. de. Law of Nations. Edited by Edward D. Ingraham. 
Philadelphia, 1883. 

Westergaard, Waldenmr C, The Danish West Indies. New York, 

Wraxall, Lascelles. "The Hapless Queen of Denmark." EoUcftio 
Magazine (1864), Vol. LXIII, pp. 287-298. New York. 


Aabenraa, 95. 

Aalborg, Mormons at, 136. 

Aalborghus, 14. 

Adams, John, 11, 12, 27. 

Alabama, 100, 132, 144. 

Alexander I, of Russia, 38. 

Alexander, Lucy, 59. 

Alfred, flagship of John Paul Jones, 59. 

Allegiance, problem of, 100 ff. See also 

Alliance, American frigate, 11, 32, 58. 

American Emigrant Co., 111. 

Amsterdam, treaty with America, 17 ; stand- 
ard of sugar, 127. 

Anderson, Rasmus B., 112, 116, 120, 123, 
157; takes up the Butterfield claims for 
arbitration, 133; on the problem of Am- 
erican ministers in foreign states, 138. 

Anglo-Danish treaty, of 1660, 18, 20, 62, 
63, 153; of 1670, 20; of 1780, 20; of 
1846, 68; of extradition, 115. 

Arman, shipbuilding firm at Bordeaux, 
France, 97, 98, 99. 

Azpurua, K., 88. 

Bacon, Robert, 142. 

Baden, Gustav L., Danish historian, 67. 

Bainbridge, Capt. Wm., 37. See also Nis- 

sen, Tripoli. 
Baltic sea, 80, 81. 
Bancroft, Edward, at London, 23. 
Bancroft, George, at Berlin, 144. 
Baptists, Danish, 101. 
Barbadoes, 89. 
Barron, Com. Samuel, 37. 
Bartram vs. Robertson, 121. 
Bashaw of Tripoli, 38. 
Basseterre, 30. 
Bayard, T. F., 114, 116, 120. 
Bedinger, Henry, 72, 75, 78, 157. 
Benjamin Franklin, 87 ff, 129, 132; claim 

disallowed, 135. 
Benson, John A., 116; case, 115. 
Benton, Capt. Thomas, 19. 
Benton, Thomas H., 76. 
Bergen, city in Norway, 11, 15, 32, 58. 
Bergen prizes, 11, 15, 18, 21, 32, 34; the 

case ended, 58-65 ; referred to, 134 note. 
Berg, H. H., governor of St. Thomas, 89, 

90, 128, 131. 
Berg, Kristen, 146. 
Berlin, 29, 60, 144. 
Berlinske Tidende, 124. 
Bernstorff, Andreas Peter, Danish Premier, 

10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 20, 21, 24, 63, 152; 

hostile to America, 17 ; letter to the royal 

Council in answer to the Prince Royal, 

17; returns to power 1784, 22. 
Betsy, English merchantman, one of tht* 

Bergen prizes, 11, 58. 
Bigelow, John, 100 note. 
Bille, Carl Steen Anderson, 157. 
BiUe, F. de, 131, 132. 
Bille, Steen, Danish representative at 

Washington, 49, 85, 157. 


Bille, Torben, Danish representative iX 

Washington, 72, 84, 129, 157. 
Blaine, James G., Sec. of State, 134. 
Bissel, Commodore, 106. 
Blome, Baron de, 13, 18, 23. 
Bluhme, Count, 79, 94, 98. 
"Boot Kathrine", 14. 
Bordeaux, 97, 98. 
Bornholm, Mormons at, 136. 
Boston Monthly Magazine, 69. 
Bramley-Moore, 74. 
Brandt, Enevold, 14. 
Bremen, 94, 116. See also Hanseatic towns, 

Bremerhaven, 86. 

British Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., 89. 
Broholm, Rev. Augrust, 101 note. 
Brun, Constantin, Danish minister at 

Washington, 117, 140, 142, 149, 158. 
Bryan, William J., 142. 
Buchanan, James, 70, 75, 84. 
Buchanan, James M., 92, 157. 
Buck, O. N., 47. 
Bund, German, 85. 
Buren, Martin van, 53, 54. 
Butterfield claims, origin, 87 ff; arbitration 

of, 128 ff; claims disallowed, 136. 

Calhoun, John C, 60, 70. 

Cameron, J. B., 89. 

Cameron, Senator Simon, 108. 

Cammet and Co., 90, 91. 

Campbell, self styled representative from 

Denmark, 30 note. 
Cape Francois, 30, 36. 
Carmichael, William, 21. 
Caroline Mathilde, 13, 14; at Celle in Han- 
over, 15. 
Carr, Clarke E., 119, 123, 138, 145, 147, 

Carstensen, Chamberlain, 106. 
Cass, Lewis, 84. 
Castonier, Major, 89, 131. 
Catharina II, of Russia, 25, 76. 
Catharine Augusta, 87 ff, 130, 132; claim 

disallowed, 135. 
Cattegat, 42, 66, 82, 97. 
Ceara, Brazil, 95. 

Charles II, King of England, 153. 
Charlotte Amalie, harbor at St. Thomas, 

Charming Betsy, Murray vs., 33, 34. 
Charming Polly, English merchantman, one 

of the Bergen prizes, 11, 58. 
Cheops, 99. 
Cherbourg, 100. 
Chezaulx,, French consul at Bergen, 

China, America aids Denmark in, 125; 

trade-marks in, 140-41. 
Christian III, King of Denmark, 69. 
Christian IV, King of Denmark, 69. 
Christian V, King of Denmark, Diary of, 

Christian VII, King of Denmark, 13. 


Christian IX, of Gliickabarg, King of Den- 
mark, 76. 

Christian August, Prince, in Norway, 40. 

Cliristiansborg castle, 146. 

Christianople, treaty of, 68. 

Christiansand, Americans at, 89; StonetpaU 
at, 97. 

Christmas, Walter, episode, 148, 149. 

Christopher II, King of Denmark, 68. 

City of Mexico, 88. 

Clay, Henry, 48, 49, 60. 

Clayton, John M., 86, 86. 

Cleveland, Pres. Grover, 119, 147. 

Commtrce, 52. 

Committee of Secret Correspondence, 9, 10. 

Confederacy, 93 ff; Confederate States, 98. 

Connell, John, 53. 

OMt«t(llation, U. S. warship, 33. 

CotmtittUion, U. S. frigat«), 38. 

"Convoy cases" 42-46, 60, 52. 

Copenhagen, Congress at, 78, 84; bombard- 
ed by England, 38. 

Counter-claims, Danish, 18 S. 

Coup d'itat, Jan. 17, 1772, the fall of 
Struensee, 14, 15. 

Cramer, Michael J., 103, 111, 114, 118, 131, 
132, 144, 145, 157. 

Crane, R. Newton, 141. 

Crimean War, 72. 

Criminals, importation of, 110. 

Crone, V. C, 110. 

Cushing, Caleb, 69. 

Dagbladet, 108. 

Danish Baptists, 101; archives of, 101 
note; history of, referred to, 136 note. 

Danish National Church, in Virgin Isl- 
ands, 160. 

Danish West Indies, 19, 87, 93, 130, 140; 
Seward's attempt to purchase, 103 S; 
plebiscite in 1867, 105, 107; plebiscite in 
1917, 150; purchase of, 143-151. See also 
St. Thomas. 

Dardanelles, 78. 

Danzig. 67. 

Dashswood, Charles, 44. 

Davis, John C. B., Acting Sec. of State, 
112, 131. 

Deane, Silas, 9, 10. 

Democratic party, opposed to the purchase 
of the Danish West Indies, 147. 

Denmark, attitude toward American Revo- 
lution, 9, 10, 17 ; referred to by Henry 
Wheaton, 61-62; attitude toward the 
Civil War, 93 ff; refuses to give England 
her fleet, 38. 

Dollner, H.. 96. 

Doolittle, Senator, in Denmark, 106. 

Duane, Wm. J., 56. 

Dunkirk, 18. 

Dykes and Snow, Mormons in Denmark, 

Eames, Charles, 88. 

Egan, Maurice F., 167. 

Elbe, 81. 

Elsinore, 69 ; used by Russia, 71 ; consul 
at. 97. 

England, captures Danish fleet, 38; treaty 
concerning Samoa, 141; willing to pur- 
chase Danish West Indies, 144, 146; 
bombarded Copenhagen, 38. 

"Era of Struensee," 18. 

Erving, George W., Envoy to Denmark, 
41, 61, 167. 

Estrup, Jacob, Danish Premier, 145, 147. 
Evarts, Secretary of State, 114. 
Experiment, 35. 
Extradition, problem of, 114 ff. 

Faer6 Islands, 150. 

Farragut, Admiral, at Copenhagen, 105. 

Fenian movement, 103. 

Fish, Hamilton, 111, 126, 131, 132, 144. 

Fleker6e, Norway, 18. 

Flenniken, Robert P., American minister 

at Copenhagen, 70, 157. 
Flint, Charles R., 148. 
Florida, 98. 
Folkething, lower chamber of Bigsdag, 146. 

149, 151. 
Forbes, John M., 46, 167. 
Forward, Walter, 157. 
Foster, John W., 147. 
France, in Revolutionary War, 16; might 

object to sale of St. Croix, 105: senda 

criminals to America, 118, 114. 
Franklm, 37. 

Franklin, Benjamin, 10, 12, 13, 21, 63, 153. 
Franks, J. C, U. S. marshal, 116. 
Franks, Wm. B., 116. 
Fredericia, J. A., 67, 164. 
Frederick, Fort, 89. 
Frederick III, King of Denmark, 153. 
Frederick VI, King of Denmark, 65. 
Fredericksted, 144. 
Frelinghuysen, F. F., 111. 
"French certificates of origin," 42-45, 60. 
Frijs, Count E. Juelwind, 105, 130. 
Fulton, Robert, 66. 

General Simeoe, British privateer, 86. 

Gener, Mr. Jos6, 88, 90. 

Geoff roy, M. de, 104. 

George III, 13, 14. 

Germany, at war with Denmark, 71, 85, 
94; sending criminals to America, 110, 
114; opposed to American pork trade, 
122, 124; treaty with, concerning Samoa, 
willing to purchase Danish West Indies, 
144, 147, 149. 

Geyser, 121. 

Gibraltar, 78. 

Girand, Lieut. P., 96. 

Great Britain, see England. 

Great Northern Telegraph Co., 126. 

Greenland, 160. 

Gresham, W. Q., 128, 139 note. 

Grew, Joseph C, 167. 

Grieve, Miller, 157. 

Gron, Niels, 148. 

Guadeloupe, 81, 38. 

Gunnison, John G., 59. 

Gunnison, Nathaniel, 69. 

Hall, M., Danish Minister of Foreign Af- 
fairs, 92, 93, 128, 129. 

HaU, J. P., 122. 

Hamburg, 30, 46, 47, 94, 122. 

Hanseatic towns, correspondence between 
67-68; at the Copenhagen Confernce, 82. 

Hansen, George P., 97, 110. 

Hapgood, Norman, 167. 

Harlan, Senator James, 108. 

Havana, 95. 

Hawaii, 121. 

Hawley, Rev. Charles, 106. 

Hay, John, 117, 148, 149. 

Hector, 62. 



Hegerman-Lindencrone, J., see Linden 

Helm, Charles J., 88, 128, 129, 131. 
Eendrick, brig, 30, 32, 34, 37, 47, 53, 55, 

56 note. 
Henry, 19; referred to, 30 note. 
Hillier, Benj., 30. 
Hoffman, Wickham, 157. 
Eojre, Danish political party, 146 ff. 
Holm, Edward, Danish historian, 15. 
Homestead Act, 100. 
Hope, 44. 

Hornkvoeg (Kvceg), 124 ff. 
Horaa, alias United States, 87. 
Houze, De La, French minister at Copen- 
hagen, 24, 25. 
Hoyt, Jesse, 56. 
Hurst, C. J. B., 141. 

Iceland, 150. 
Icelandic books, 145. 

Irvin, William, W., American representa- 
tive at Copenhagen, 62, 70, 157. 
Isaacsen, Peter, 39, 40. 

Jackson, Andrew, 54, 58. 

Jackson, Isaac R., 157. 

Jacmel, 35. 

Japan, buys the Stonewall, 100. 

Jarlsberg, Count Wedel de, 29. 

Jay, John, 12. 

Jefferson, Thomas, 24, 32. 

Jensen, Mads, alias Jbrgensen, 111. 

Johnson, President Andrew, 107, 110. 

Jones, John Paul, in European waters, 11, 
13; negotiating with Denmark, 23 ff. 
See also, Bergen prizes, Janette Taylor, 
Reventlow-Criminil, Benjamin Franklin, 
Wolodimer, Catharina II, De la Houze, 
Thomas Jefferson. 

Jonkjobing, treaty of, 41. 

Jiirgen Lorentzen, case of, 95 ff. 

Keith, Sir Robert M., 14. 

King, Rufus, American representative at 
the Court of St. James, 29. 

Kronborg, 14. See also Elsinore. 

Krusse, Eduart, 69. 

Kvoeg (Hornkvoeg), 124 ff. 

Lahn, 116. 

Landais, Capt. Peter, 11, 13, 32, 58. 

Landsthing, upi)er chamber of Rigsdag, 
146, 149, 151. 

Landtag, opposed to Sound Dues, 74. 

Lansing, Robert, signs treaty of 1916, 149. 

League of Armed Neutrality, 10, 62. 

Lear, Tobias, 38. 

Lee, Arthur, 10. 

Leeward Islands, 30. 

Lewis and Cox, 129. 

Lex regia, of Holstein, 75. 

Lincoln, President, 95, 104, 143; sending 
Colt's pistols to the Danish king, 95 

Lindencrone, J. Hegerman, 111, 125, 131, 
132, 157. 

Livingston, Robert, 19; proposes that Eur- 
opean powers negotiate with U. S. 
through England if they will not recog- 
nize our independence, 20. 

Loening, U. S. consul, 116. 

London, Protocol of, 76. 

Lovenorn, P. L. E., 120, 157. 

Liibeck, 67. 

Lucas, Toussaint, 35. 

Lund, C. N., a Mormon, 136. 

McDermott, Hugh F., 77. 

McKinley, Pres. William, 148. 

Madison, James, 36, 41. 

Madrid, 29. 

Magee, Rufus, 114. 

Maley, Shattuck vs. 35; Lieut. William, 35. 

Mann, Dudley, 93. 

Marcy, William L., 72, 84, 129, 132. 

Marshall, John, Chief Justice, 34, 36. 

Martinique, 33. 

Mercator, 35, 45, 47, 53, 55. 

Messina, 78. 

Methodist Episcopal Church, seeks per- 
mission to operate in Denmark, 109 note. 

Mississippi valley, Danes in, 101. 

Moltke, Count A. V., Danish Premier, 71. 

Moltke, Count, representative at Washing- 
ton, 158. 

Money values, 155. 

Monongahela, 106. 

Monroe, James, 47, 58. 

Monroe Doctrine, 143. 

Monson, Sir Edmund, arbitrator in the 
Butterfield case, 133-35. 

Moore, Lieut. H. T., 95. 

Morganbladet, 113. 

Mormon problem, 135-137. 

Morning Light, warship, 95. 

Morris, Andrew, 37. 

Morris, Gouv., 26. 

Murray, Capt., 33, 34; reimbursed by 
Congress, 35. 

Nationaltidende, 150. 

Napoleon, 38. 

Napoleon III, 99. 

New York Times, 77. 

New York Tribume, 78, 82. 

Niles, U. S. minister at Turin, 87. 

Nissen, Nicholas C, aid given by N. to 
Americans at Tripoli, 37 ; joint resolu- 
tion thanking, 38. 

Norfolk, 91. 

Norway, suffers during Napoleonic wars, 
40 ff. See Bergen, Bergen prizes, Chez- 

Nystad, treaty of, 76. 

O'Brien, Thomas J., 157. 

Olcott, John N., 87, 90. 

Olinde, see Stonewall. 

Olney, Richard, 147. 

Olson, Sir P. Blicher, 30, 35, 157. 

Ordination of Episcopalian Ministers, 27. 

Oxholm, General D', 75. 

Paez, Gen. JosS A., 88. 

Page, Capt. V. P., 98. 

Palmer, Admiral, 106. 

Palmerston, Lord, 74. 

Panama Canal, influence on the purchase 

of the Danish West Indies, 149. 
Parana, 89. 
Parke, Mathew, Captain of marines on 

the Alliance, 59. 
Parke, Wm. C, 59. 
Parton, James, 104 note. 
Patagons, Spanish dollars, 55. 
Patent, from King of Denmark to Jones, 

Peary Relief Expedition, 139. 
Pederson, Peder, Danish minister to the 

United States, 37, 48, 63, 157. 
Pernambuco, 91. 


Perry, Commodore M. C, 86. 

Persigny, Count, 74. 

Peters, Judge, 34. 

Peter the Great, 76. 

Pickering, American war vessel, 80, 82. 

Petroleum Test, in Denmark. 126. 

PhUadelphia, 37. 

Pickett, J. T., 90, 129. 

Picquet, Monsieur LaMotte, 59. 

Pierce, Edward L., 108. 

Plebiscite, demanded by Denmark, 106, 

Plessen, Fru, 14. 

Politiken, 150. 

Polytechnic Institute, 126. 

Pomeroy, John P. See Benson, John A., 
115, 116. 

Port-au-Prince, 36. 

Porter, James D., 112. 

Port Republic, 35. 

Preston, William B., 85. 

Prince Royal of Denmark, a friend of the 
American colonies, 17. 

Protection, of industrial designs, 140' by 
tariff. See Tariff. 

Providentia, 19. 

Prussia, attitude toward American Revolu- 
tion, 9; attitude toward Sound Dues, 74, 
77; war with Denmark, 80, 85, 9i, 104; 
rumor Prussia wiU trade Schleswig for 
St. Thomas, 144. 

Pnggard, Danish merchant, 97. 

Pyramus, H. M. 8., 44. 

Quiberon Bay, 59, 97. 

Raasloff, General W. R., 96, 102, 104, 157. 

Radical Students' Association, 150. 

Ranger, 69. 

Ravn, Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, 

Reedtz-Thott, Danish minister, 119, 125, 
146, 147. 

Reimer, Capt. T. W., 95, 96. 

Rendsborg, royal order of, 38. 

Representative, status of American, in Den- 
mark, 137 ff. 

Republican party, favorable to the pur- 
chase of the Danish West Indies. 147- 

Reventlow, Count F. de, representative at 
Washington, 127, 139 note, 158. 

Reventlow, Ditlev, 10, 152. 

Reventlow-Criminil, Count, Danish Pre- 
mier, 62. 

Reviere, Amous de la, 97, 100. 

Rhea, Capt. of the Hope, 44. 

"Richardson Investigation," of the Walter 
Christmas episode, 149. 

Richardson, Justice, 121. 

Riemenschneider, 118. 

Rigtdag, 105, 107, 126, 145, 160; parties 
and chambers in, 146. 

Rio de Janeiro, 95. 

Risley, John E., 124, 136, 147, 157. 

Roenne, Baron von, 85 ff. 

Rogers, Henry H., 148. 

Roosevelt, Pres. Theodore, 117, 149. 

Rosencrone, Baron, Danish Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, 21, 27. 

Rosenkrantz, Baron, Danish Premier, 41. 

Rosenohrn-Lehn, Baron O. D., 103, 120, 

Ruhl, John E., 88. 

Russia, attitude toward American Revolu- 

tion, 9, 10; Oommeree and Hector casM, 

Ryder, Henry B., Ill, 167. 
Saaby, Hans Rudolph, 29, 89. 
St. Christopher, 30, 32. See St. Kitts. 
St. Croix, reciprocity with, 56-68; West 

India island, 90, 105, 121 ; revolution in 

1878, 144. 
St. Domingo, 85. 
St. John, one of the Danish West Indies, 

105, 148. 
St. Kitts, 80. See St. Christopher. 
St Petersburg, 25, 29. 
St. Thomas, 33, 35, 36, 87, 95, 104, 130, 

132, 134, 135, 143, 144, 149. 
Salomansen, 118. 
Samoan claims, 141-48. 
San Bias, 90, 91. 
Sanger, von, 74. 
Saphorin, M. de St., Danish envoy to The 

Hague, 27. 
Sayre, Stephen, attempting to negotiate a 

treaty of commerce with Denmark in 

1777, 10, 11. 
Schifer, Dietrich, 67, 164. 
Scheelt, Capt. Peter, 30. 
Schimmelman, Count, Danish Premier, 52. 
Schleswig-Holstein question, 76; war, 85; 

second war, 94, 98; rumor that Prussia 

will trade Schleswig for St. Thomas, 

Scholten, General P. von, 66. 
Schonheyder, Danish naval officer, 98. 
Seward, Wm. H., 93, 96, 102, 104, 129, 

Shanghai, 125, 141. 
Shattuck, Jared, 33, 35, 47; v«. Maley, 

35 ff. 
Sherman, Senator John, 138. 
Short, Wm., 26, 30. 
Snow and Sykes, Mormons in Denmark, 

Soderstrom, Richard, 86. 
Sorenson, Richard, 36. 
Sorenson, Die, a criminal, 110. 
Soro, 68. 

Sould, Pierre, 129. 
Sound Dues, 16, 17, 42; abolition of, 66> 

85 ; opposed in Prussia, 74 ; recognized 

by treaty of Vienna, 73; favored in 

England, 74; favored by Russia, 75 
Spain, attitude toward American Revela- 
tion, 9. 
Sphinx, See Stonewall. 
Sponneck, Count, F. W., 79, 168. 
Strkodder. See Stonewall, 97, 100. 
Steman, Count de, Danish Minister of 

Justice, 63. 
Stonewall, case of the, 97 ff. 
Struensee, Johan Frederik, 14. 
Sumner, Charles, opposed to the purchase 

of Danish West Indies, 107 ; referred to, 

Siisquehannah, 106. 

Sweden, attitude toward American Revolu- 
tion, 9, 16; at war with Denmark, 23, 

25 note ; sending criminals to Ameriefli 

Swenson, Laurits S., 137, 157. 
Swift, case, 43. 
Talbot, Silas, 36. 
Tariff, "of Abominations," 66; on sugar, 

121. 124, 127; Wilson-Gormon, 124, 127. 
Taylor, Janette, niece of John Paul Jones, 




Taylor, Moses, 96. 

Texas fever, 124. 

ThingvaUa, 113, 116; Steamship Line, 121, 
va. United States, 121 note. 

Trade-Marks protected in China, 140 ff. 

Trade, problems of, 119 ff. 56-58. 

Treaty of Christianople, 68; of Tilsit, 38. 

Treaty, U. S. and Denmark, of 1783-84, 
21, 22; of 1826, 47, 50, 71, 72, 120, 122; 
abrogated, 72; of 1830, 50-56; of extra- 
dition, 114-17; postal convention, 118; on 
weights and measures, 118; on trade- 
marks, 119; on copyrights, 119; on But- 
terfield claims, 133-35; on arbitration, 
142 ; on general peace, 142-43 ; purchas- 
ing the Danish West Indies, 149-151 ; 
United States and Holland, 21; U. S. 
and Spain on extradition, 115, 117. 

Trent affair, 95. 

Trichinosis, from American iM)rk, 122. 

Tripoli, 37. 

Turin, 87. 

Tyler, John, 60. 

TJhl, Edwin F., 128. 

Union, English merchantman, one of the 
Bergen prizes, 11, 58. 

Vnited States, a warvessel, 85 ff. 

Upshur, Secretary of State, 78. 

Utah, 136, 137. 

Vedel, Danish Director-General, 124. 

Venezuela, rebellion in, 88, 90, 132; Den- 
mark's duty toward, 130. 

Tenstre, Danish political party, 146 ff. 

Vera Cruz, 91. 

Vergennes, French minister, 19, 24. 

Virgin Islands, 103. See Danish West 
Indies, St. Thomas. 

Walewski, Count, 74. 

Walterstorff, Baron de, 21, 63. 

Warren, James, Lieutenant on the AUianee, 

Washington, 111. 
Webster, Daniel, 70. 
Welles, Gideon, 96. 
West Indies, Danish, trade in, 56, 57 note ; 

rights of Americans in, 49-50. See also, 

Danish West Indies, St. Thomas. 
Wheaton, Henry, minister to Denmark, 

50-56, 157; minister to Prussia, 60-62; 

on the treaty of 1830, 60-62; compared 

with Monson on statute of limitation, 134 

White, Henry, 148. 
Whitney vs. Robertson, 121 note. 
Wickersham, James P., 157. 
Williams, S. Wells, 126. 
Wilkes, Capt. Charles, 95. 
Wilson-Gorman tariff, 124, 127. See 

Wilson, Woodrow, 142. 
Windward Islands, 89. 
Winchester, George, 56. 
Wisconsin, Danish Baptists in, 101. 
World War, influence on the purchase of 

the Danish West Indies, 149. 
Wolodimer, 25. 

Wood, Bradford R., 93, 97, 98, 157. 
Woodside, Jonathan F., 157. 
Wraxall, Sir N. W., 15. 
Wright, Thomas, 33. 

X. Y. Z. affair, 30. 

Teaman, George H., 102, 108, 110, 129, 

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